EDUCATION

Column: Many students struggle with anxiety

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By: Kirsten Faulkner

Kirsten Faulkner
Oxford Stories

Living in a fast-paced world, students sometimes find themselves trying to accomplish too many tasks at once, which can lead to anxiety.

As time goes on, our society expects more from the next generation to be better than the last. Once students advance to college, that pressure only increases.

Students must declare a major, ideally, by their sophomore year; have a decent class load in order to graduate; and choose a career path. Some students aren’t capable of handling the stress those decisions creates.

According to www.apa.org, anxiety is a top concern among college students. Other issues include depression and relationship problems.

You typically only go to college for four years before you step out into the real world, so trying to find time for a social life in school can be challenging.

Greek life is popular at Ole Miss. As incoming students strive to get their “dream” house during formal recruitment, some take it more seriously than others. If their dreams don’t come true, it can lead to anxiety.

Another concern is students who with prescriptions for anxiety medication who sell their pills to other students.

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Photo of a student’s room while they are studying for an exam. Photo by Kirsten Faulkner.

It is important to recognize that anxiety is a problem. You could  do more harm than good by ignoring the signs. Being alone is one of the worst things a person can do.

Many  people deal with anxiety every day, and I have seen firsthand how it affects others. My friend has experienced severe anxiety since she was in high school, and has been to counseling to help her overcome her struggles.

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Student Meredith Wimbrow studying for an exam. Photo taken by Kirsten Faulkner.

Working towards a marketing degree, one area she struggles most with is taking tests. Before an exam, she has to make sure she is fully prepared and takes medication. She has told me the challenges she faces daily, and she knows  she can overcome them.

One of the best ways to help prevent anxiety is to stay active and take care of yourself. Exercising is one of the best tools to help relieve stress and tension. Participating in campus classes, such as yoga or cycling, can help relieve stress.

Eating is also sometimes an anxiety-related factor. Some who experience anxiety cannot eat. They feel like there are knots twisting in their stomach and lumps in their throat. Others may not be able to control how much they eat.

The first step in seeking help is to identify your problem. Talk with a counselor to see what measures need to be taken in order to live a healthy life.

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Student Meredith Wimbrow studying for an exam. Photo by Kirsten Faulkner.

The university provides a free, confidential counseling services. Your first visit is a walk-in. After that, you can make an appointment as needed to speak with a certified counselor. Their main concern is making sure all patients do not want to harm themselves or others.

By taking that first step, you can change your life, or you can help someone in need change his or her life. Don’t let anxiety rule your world, and do what is necessary to fix the problem.

The only way to truly conquer anxiety is to focus on you and the steps you can take to better improve your life. Eliminating stress factors can help ease anxiety.

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