Stress: the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. According to Insidehighered.com, 50 percent of college freshmen reported they felt stress, and 36 percent reported
that they felt they were unable to manage their day-to-day stress.
Some causes of stress in freshmen students can be a new environment, being independent, the transition from high school assignments to college assignments, managing grades, the continuous stream of work, and much more. Students also have problems back at home, and college adds to the stress that they deal with already.
Ranked No. 5 in all Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Xavier is no stranger to having stressed out students. My first week of school at Xavier was pretty cool, but as time progressed, my stress levels rose; and I’m not the only freshman on campus that feels this way.
According to Damon Cousin, a pre-pharmacy major, “Xavier is beyond stressful for no reason.” For one thing, I feel like professors give us “busy work,” and the busy work is ineffective. By busy work, I mean that we receive homework assignments, even though the professors fail to convey the lesson to the students. Sometimes, it seems the assignment aren’t there to help us, but just for us to have work. In addition, the professors seem to be more interested in conferences, instead of the education of their students.
Also, students sometimes can’t understand their professors because of their strong accents; those same professors get angry when you ask questions, trying to clarify and make sure you understand their lessons.
For the best school in the south, Xavier’s professors don’t have the “best” attitude. Another problem is the counseling service. While they try to help, it isn’t really helpful. When you go to them, they ask you questions I feel are unrelated to why you came in the first place. And when I leave, I don’t feel as if my stress has been acknowledged or alleviated.
Lastly, I feel as if the required GPA to keep your scholarship should change. You have to maintain at least a 3.3 GPA to keep your scholarship. The average GPA at Xavier is a 2.75, so why do we need to maintain at least a 3.3 to keep our scholarship?
Although Xavier adds to my stress, there are good things that it offers, too. For example, the writing resource center is amazing; in my opinion, I feel it is the most helpful resource center on campus. Everytime I go to the center for help, I always receive an ‘A.’
I do have some recommendations to help alleviate stress.
Freshman seminar, if it has to be a class that is required, should do more to help students alleviate stress. In class, the tips we’re offered don’t help. “Get a calendar,” my professor says. I have a calendar to manage my time. Then what? I’m still stressed out. “Take a nap,” my professor says. Okay? I wake up, and I’m still stressed out.
Another solution is to make an online survey, specific to Xavier, where students can rate their professors, or students can have access to the survey comments that students leave about professors. This way, students can know not to choose a certain professor, and if they have to choose that professor, they know what to expect.
I also think a 24-hour resource center can help students. Being a student is a full-time job, and if we are going to be up late in the library doing homework, we should have available help. Xavier pays for students to have free access to the New York Times, so why not give students free access to tutoring sites?
Also, there should be a 24-hour nurse on call at Xavier. Right now, when the health center closes, there is no one that can help students, and they have to go to urgent care or the emergency room, which costs money. It would be nice to have someone who could help students out with small things on the weekend, such as asthma attacks, hives, toothaches, etc.
There are a few other things Xavier can do as well. Stress relieving activities such as yoga, adult coloring books, Zumba classes, and venting sessions amongst students, where administration actually listens. Also, I think upperclassmen should be asked to give some do’s and don’t’s to avoid stress in college, or just succeeding in general.
Finally, there should be something done about the quality of life at Xavier, too. Students are already stressed from classes; the low quality of dorms, food, and fun only add to their stress.
Even though Xavier is considered the best college for education, they are definitely not the best at aiding their students in other problems. How can students create a “just and humane society” if they are stressed out?
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