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Susana Gonzalez

Professor Apiafi

Health Education

8 March 2020

Project #3

College, a place of memories, independence, and opportunities, but it's also a place of

stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. For many college freshmen, this is the year where they

experience many firsts. Such as their first time away from home, first time paying bills, first time

cooking, etc. They are learning the struggles of having to juggle personal life with school and

work. Unfortunately, many develop stress and anxiety because they are unable to find their

balance. Just like Katya, a college freshman who is on scholarship is suffering from severe test


Katya has the pressure of needing to do well in her classes to maintain her scholarship.

However, that pressure ended up developing into anxiety, which then resulted in her having a

panic attack. In this case, it isn't out of the ordinary to see college students, like Katya, suffer this

way. Many students have been in Katya's situation; fortunately, they found ways to help

minimize their stress and anxiety levels. For example, being physically active is known to

improve your mental health. An article by Hartman discussed how college students are being

affected by emotional dysregulation. He explained how imbalanced emotions make it difficult to

focus on tasks, such as studying. Also, Katya could find a hobby that helps as a stress reliever.

Such as journaling, reading, playing an instrument, etc. It's great to have a hobby because it

promotes eustress and helps to build self-esteem. Finally, it's always a great option to educate
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yourself on the matter at hand. Katya could attend meetings with others who have/had the same

experiences. She could also read about the causes and effects of stress and the different ways to

manage it. I have found that all three methods (physical activity, hobbies, and educating oneself)

help to reduce stress and anxiety effectively.

Like Katya, I have also struggled with test anxiety. It had begun in high school and

continued in college. It had gotten to the point that I started excessively sweating the night before

an exam. It was never because I was unprepared for the exam, but rather because of the thought

of making a simple mistake that could have been avoided. Instead of being proud of my work, I

tended to beat myself up over what I could have done better. Luckily, I spoke up about how I felt

and what I was doing to myself. Shortly after, that was when I took on running and found it to

alleviate my stress and anxiety. I have also made it a point to go into new semesters with a better

mindset. Instead of thinking that I could have done better, I now congratulate myself on doing

the best I could.

Overall, college is an amazing place that also happens to be an environment filled with

stress. Every day students, like Katya, are struggling to balance their physical and emotional

health. Some go on years thinking that it's normal to feel the way they do, while others are

intimidated to express themselves. It wasn't until Katya had a panic attack that made her take

action. Luckily, there are many ways, like those stated above, to help reduce stress levels. The

goal for Katya and many other college students is to become mentally balanced. In the end,

balance is the key to success and a healthy lifestyle.

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Brady, S. T., Hard, B. M., & Gross, J. J. (2018). Reappraising test anxiety increases academic

performance of first-year college students. ​Journal of Educational Psychology​, ​110​(3),

395–406. (Supplemental)

HARTMAN, S. D., WASEELESKI, D. T., & WHATLEY, M. A. (2017). Just Breathe: The

Effects of Emotional Dysregulation and Test Anxiety on Gpa. ​College Student Journal​,

51​(1), 142.