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Under pressure: UNT students reflect on reality of stress in college

Under pressure: UNT students reflect on reality of stress in college

Under pressure: UNT students reflect on reality of stress in college
August 08
21:58 2019

College marks a time for new experiences, ideas and memories while preparing students for the future. However, these four years of school can also be accompanied by stress.

For drawing and painting senior Jessica McCue, the pressure to find a career path was a big stressor during her time in college.

“Stresses I was facing all three of my years was trying to decide what career I wanted,” McCue said. “When I first came into college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my degree. So figuring that out while also trying to maintain my grades was stressful.”

Jessica McCue works to finish her homework by it’s  deadline on August 5, 2019 at Starbucks. Photo by Sophie Moncaleano

From the first-time jitters of a freshman to the pre-graduation anxiety of a senior, stress can evolve. When entering freshman year, students are now taking on a new identity away from their family. They are now living on their own, becoming more financially independent and are on track to pursue a career.

“I think I’m mostly nervous about trying to find my place,” communication design freshman Maddie Rowberry said. “Like making friends and trying to find a career path but also figuring out how to deal with the change.”

For others, finding a social group that fits their interests is a difficult process.

“The most stressful thing about freshman year was trying to meet new people,” media arts senior Samantha Pruett said. “I’m a shy person so it was a struggle to create new friendships and get used to the new school and classes. Joining a club helped me meet new people.”

As freshmen dip their toes into these waters, sophomores are facing new types of stress — finances and sleep. After settling into campus life, students say that balancing work and play is a new challenge.

“I slept between two to four hours every night,” English and history senior Dallas Johnson said. “It was free to go out when I wanted, but it was a hellish existence. It took a long time before I started doing things in restraint so I wasn’t blowing money left and right.”

“Sophomore year was time to find a balance between your school, work, social life and sleep,” Johnson said.

During junior year, students are nearing the end of their time in college and enrolling in more advanced college courses. By this time, some students are expected to find internships and gain professional experience off-campus.

“I was worried about keeping my GPA up,” Pruett said. “The most stressful things were the hard classes and I was also worried about getting enough hours and taking the right classes to graduate on time.”

As graduation nears, students often experience the anxiety of leaving college and entering the workforce.

“I’m dreading graduation,” McCue said. “I really like where I am and I fear the future. Even though I know what I want to do afterward, it’s still scary leaving this environment that I’ve been in for almost four years.”

Finally, senior year. A student’s last year in college can be bittersweet, filled with excitement and relief to graduate, but fear of the unknown future ahead. Despite the stress, McCue says that the fear soon changes into inspiration.

“I had a lot of stress trying to figure out what I wanted to do after school,” McCue said. “But once I realized that I wanted to teach, I’ve turned my stress into motivation. It can be hectic sometimes but I’ve enjoyed the challenges I’ve been presented with.”

Featured Image: Jessica McCue works on homework on August, 5 2019 at Starbucks. (NT Daily photo by Sophie Moncaleano)

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Sophie Moncaleano

Sophie Moncaleano

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