Student Stress Elevates

With current events heightening college life pressures, students are worrying about more than just their schoolwork.

But Assistant Director for Educational Services in the University Counseling Center Bob Wilson said students should do their best to concentrate on their immediate concerns as students.

“Students must accept that since their job is to be a student, they must play their part and trust that the government, medical and security services are playing theirs,” Wilson said.

Some students said they have felt overwhelmed by safety concerns, which have increased pressures from exams and papers.

Although most students interviewed said they felt the initial horror of the attacks, many said they have gone on with their lives.

“At first I was devastated when I found out about everything,” freshman Brian O’Leary said. “But now I have just accepted what has happened and because of that, I have moved on.”

Freshman Jason Leblang, a native New Yorker, said losing the Twin Towers was like losing a part of home.

“It is extremely difficult to cope with the fact that the towers have vanished,” he said. “When you have a constant entity in your life – in this case the towers – the sight of them gives you comfort. I don’t have that comfort anymore.”

Wilson said he has had many sessions with students but fewer than he expected.

He said students deal with stress differently, but the important thing is that they confront their problems.

“There is a general and pervasive climate of stress on campus,” he said. “There have been cases of students suffering from loss of sleep, headaches, trouble concentrating, procrastination and mood swings. All of these are normal human reactions and in no way are these feelings bad or wrong.”

Some students said they find it difficult to focus on schoolwork as a result of insecurities and fears.

“Once the attacks struck so close to home, my priorities shifted dramatically,” freshman Jennifer Puckett said. “I am less focused on getting good grades. Rather my focus is now on my safety. It’s difficult to perform well academically with tragedy on my mind.”

Wilson said many students have recognized such problems, independently or through counseling, and have coped with them.

“A good amount of students on campus have gotten to the point of reconciliation,” he said.

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