Stress motivates students to finish the semester

End-of-term pressure forces students to do the work

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By Laisa Conde

Anxiety is common as the academic term comes to an end, but stress isn’t all bad news, according to a practising counsellor.

According to Ellahae Keshmiri, a Vancouver registered clinical counsellor, students often feel stress as they face life transitions.

“You are increasing stress and putting high demands on a not-fully-developed brain,” Keshmiri said. “It’s the societal pressure that you need to be able to function at a certain level of expectation … when you’re in college.”

On-campus events de-stress students

Many Langara College students are participating in the De-Stress Fest event this week, which aims to help students deal with end-of-term pressure. Activities include a colouring lounge, therapy dog room, free movies and snacks.

Keshmiri said some stress is considered healthy and can help people succeed and function. However, stress can become a burden on people’s lives.

“I think we all need to have a healthy level, and need a healthy level of anxiety, worry or stress,” she said.

“It becomes a problem when you can’t do your day-to-day things in life, or it becomes so big that, for example, you can’t go to class, you can’t leave your house.”

Keshmiri said stress management workshops can help students cope with their anxiety. According to her, educational environments such as post-secondary institutions should give students the tools needed to teach them how to manage stress.

“As people grow up, I don’t think it’s something that is consciously taught to students, or kids in general,” she said. “I think that’s another problem where, you know, you’re throwing young people into a very high stress environment, without having or giving them the tools do deal with it.”

“If I didn’t have any stress … I wouldn’t do any of this.”

Joshua Gonzaga, a second-term commerce and business student at Langara College, said when he gets stressed, he feels anxious and procrastinates on his tasks.

At the same time, Gonzaga said stress also creates a sense of urgency, which motivates him to complete his assignments.

“It kind of forces me to do my work,” he said. “Because if I didn’t have any stress, I wouldn’t [do work]. I wouldn’t do any of this.”

But some students don’t find stress to be motivating.

Amritpreet Kaur, a first-semester computer studies student, said she has anxiety and when she gets stressed she doesn’t feel like herself.

“[Stress] doesn’t help me, but I just overthink everything,” Kaur said.

Colouring relaxes

Kaur said she appreciated Langara’s De-stress Fest event, where she participated in the colouring lounge. She said it made her feel more relaxed.

Sonakshi Kaushal, a first-term health science student at Langara College, also attended the colouring lounge. Kaushal said she gets irritated during exams and when she has a lot of assignments that need to be done, but the stress helps her to get the work done.

“It helps me to concentrate more on those studies,” she said. “And if I’m [stressed out], I can deal with the situation and I can excel in the exams as well.”

Kaushal said the activities provided by the De-stress Fest were helpful.

“Do something like this, colouring, and all that. It helped me out, dealing with the stress,” she said.

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