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The Tar Heel Thursday, August 19, 193519
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By CATHY COWAN
Stress is one of the more unplea
sant aspects of everyday life. In
college, however, academic, time and
personal pressures and turn small
problems into big ones, and big
problems into almost unbearable
burdens. Yet as frightening as they
may seem to be at the time, such
problems are much more reparable
given a little time and effort than they
seem to be. The trick lies in reducing
(though not doing away with) stress.
The simple truth is that college is
a high pressure environment. You are
not putting pressure on yourself. If
you are in college, you will experience
some, maybe more than your fair
share, of stress. -
If you are undergoing such college
stress, remember that almost nothing
which happens in college will be
permanently damaging. Bad grades,
a breakup with a boy or girlfriend,
or even flunking out are not final
judgements on your destiny as a
human being. This does not mean
that you should dismiss a truly
important problem; but those relat
ing directly to being in school are
probably much more curable than
you might think.
Everyone undergoes the same
fears, anxieties, and worries during
college. College is a time of growth
and change possibly the most
change you will undergo in four years
which is mental, physical, and
emotional in nature. If you are feeling
a little disconcerted, it's no wonder.
Hang on, and youll get through.
Even if it doesn't seem that youll be
okay, there are plenty of options. -
College is a new and unfamiliar
environment. Especially at a school
like Carolina, many very different
people with as many different back
grounds are thrown together for the
first time. People from urban New
'York share dorm rooms with people
from Arkansas. Porsche owners are
the fraternity brothers of those whose
parents can barely afford to pay their
tuition. Homosexuals attend the
same classes as heterosexuals. Don't
get overwhelmed, but go at whatever
speed you need to to adjust to it. If
you do feel lost, realize that these
feelings will fade away as you begin
There are several specific things
you can do to reduce academic and
personal pressures. Reducing your
academic load will ease some of the
pressure. Good time management
means that you willl be able to do
more, more effectively. Taking a
semester off after a difficult year can
Regular exercise is not only good
for your body, but for your mind as
well. Its positive effects include
making you more calm, comfortable,
: healthier, and more alert. Good
nutrition is esssential to physical and
mental well being. Meditation is a
way of clearing and relaxing the mind
that doesn't have to cost a lot or be
associated with any particular reli
If however at any time during your
college years, you find that you are
not doing well either academically,
emotionally, or both, ask yourself the
1. Do I want to be here, at this
2. Do I want to be in college at
all? t - . - -
3. Should I take fewer classes next
term? . ,; - ,;
4. Should 1 take easier classes next
term? - . . .
5. Why did I take the classes IVe
taken? . . f
6., How do I feel much of the time?
Bored? Angry? Homesick? Anxoius?
Lonely? Panicky? ; Frustruated?
Unwanted? Lost?, Out of place?
Stupid? Overburdened? Inept? Fright
ened? Uncertain? Confused? Why? ;
7. What can I do to make myself
feel better, or at least different? What,
if anything, is keeping me from doing
this? How can I enable myself to do
it?- -. v
8. Should I change, my major or
career plan? Is my current major or
career plan uninteresting, or too
difficult, or otherwise unappealing or
9. What concrete things can I do
to improve my situation? -
10. Why am I here at college"? Why
am I at this college in particular?
11. Would I be happier, or would
things be easier, or would I do better
at a different school?
12. What, if anything, would I
rather be doing than being in school
here? How can I arrange to do it?
Remember that no matter what,
you cannot do better than your best.
This is hard for those who are used
to being at the top of their, classes,
WE'RE FIGHTING FOR
YOU CAN'T SEE IT.
FEEL IT. TASTE IT.
DUT HIGH BLOOD
PRESSURE CAN HAVE
A DRAMATIC EFFECT
ON YOUR LIFE.
High blood pressure, or
hypertension, is a disease. A
potentially dangerous disease.
It can lead to heart disease
and stroke. As many as one in
four American adults has high
blood pressure. But because it
is virtually symptom free, as
many as 1 7 million adults have
an increased risk of heart dis
ease without knowing it.
But there is a simple, painless
procedure to find out if you
have it. Get it checked. Today.
And keep it checked. It may be
the best thing you ever did for
yourself. You never know.
WELCOME BACK STUDENTS
LOGOS BOOKSTORE IS YOUR
PLACE TO SHOP FOR:
OPEN 9:30 AM-930PM
General Reading Books
100 West Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514
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and hard if it means that you will
have to drop an class or obligation.
But trying to do more would only
Don't take mistakes as failures.
You may grow from one stage to
another in life, but you will never stop
making mistakes. Take what you can
from them to learn and grow.
Try to avoid burnout by taking
precautions in advance to make sure
it does not occur. Burnout is the state
in which you cannot make yourself
go on even if you want to. The best
way to avoid it is to commit yourself
to a reasonable amount of work from
the very beginning. If you feel it
coming on, stop and take a break.
You can probably recover quickly
and return to the race rejuvenated.
Solve problems before they
become big. For example, if you are
having trouble in a class, see . the
instructor soon. If you have had no
idea what is going on in class for two
weeks, it will be hard for you to catch
up, even with his or her help.
Finally, both Student Health
Service and the Student Develop
ment and Counseling Center have
N C S4 tut to Half if N
A i " t ' i t i
ixameu counselors ana psycnoiogisis
on their staffs. Feel free to use these
services. All counseling is absolutely
confidential no one is told and
nothing goes on your academic
record. Using these services does not
mean that you are "cracking up," but
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seeking any help you need irf sorting
through college pressures and stress.
Many of the students who seek
counseling are among the best. '
Above all, however, relax and
enjoy yourself at Carolina. Here you
will be presented with opportunities
and experiences which you will not
find anywhere else. You will make
, many new friends, change and grow
in ways you never foresaw, and
emerge with some of the best four
vears of your life behind you.
Knowing the potential pitfalls and
the options for dealing with them
before you begin can only put you
ahead in the game.
Catherine Cowan, a senior from
Fayetteville, Arkansas, is Managing
Editor of The Tar Heel. ;
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