By Lyndi-Colleen Morgan
With exams just around the corner students are experiencing more stressed than ever, resulting in some dangerous side effects.
According to a study conducted by the National College Health Assessment in 2013, approximately 59 per cent of the 16,000 students in Ontario surveyed experienced high amounts of stress.
The NCHA also reported 40 per cent of students said stress was affecting their ability to achieve academically.
“Stress has a full range of effects on people psychologically, emotionally and physically. It’s unique to each individual,” said Don Crowder a counsellor at St. Clair College’s downtown campus. “It can be translated into a negative or a positive event. Sometimes stress as we know it can in fact be a very motivating.”
Julia Yazbek, was a student at the University of Windsor, and recently finished her study in biological sciences.
“During school I was stressed,” said Yazbek. “For my program we had to have specific marks, if you didn’t have the grades you didn’t graduate. Keeping up with classes, studying and managing my time was stressful.”
She said although she has graduated and taken a semester off between her programs, there is a new kind of stress. Yazbek will be taking a masters program in the new year. Although her current state of stress is different than when she was in school, the pressure and stress to succeed is there.
Crowder said the need for counselling has been noticed in both universities and colleges across Ontario.
According to Statistics Canada, in a report released in 2009, for those aged 15 to 34 suicide was the second leading cause of death, making up one-quarter of deaths in the age group. Stress, as well as anxiety, depression and mental illness are some of the leading causes of suicides.
Schools at all levels have put systems in place to accommodate to students needing to talk.
Crowder said sometimes the best help counsellors can offer students is to be someone to listen and bounce ideas off.
“Sometimes you just need someone who’s going to listen and then help you to work out a solution,” said Crowder.