Before examining strategies for reducing stress, it is important to understand the current levels of stress on college campuses.The Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) at UCLA is an organization that has been tracking trends in college freshmen across the country for over fifty years.It is little wonder that such a daunting transition, when coupled with academic and social pressures as well, has led to tremendous amounts of stress in students across the country.
Their report 2010 report, released in 2011, found student’s emotional health to be at record lows due to a number of college related stressors (Pryor).
While the CIRP report did not go more indepth into examining the causes of stress, numerous other studies have extensively identified certain stress creating factors.
Given the large body of literature available and the different situations they came from, it was remarkable that most of the papers reached relatively similar conclusions and gave often overlapping recommendations.
That helps support the assertion that themes from across the various studies can be applied to a more generalized campus.
College students gain a degree of choice over their lifestyle that in many cases was inaccessible back home.
These choices can lead to increased stress levels for several different reasons.Both methods have their merits, and can contribute to a larger understanding of effective strategies.The purpose of this section is not to it the merits of one idea against the other, but to collect both and find any potential common ground between the two.The results from that paper suggest that while major choice plays a small role in total stress levels, an environment that controlled for alcohol and drug use would find certain differences in stress between majors based on differences in academic rigor.The theme of academic stress, coupled with social pressures, was also explored in a paper by Daphne E. She researched how stress from outside situations spillover into college students lives, and what school factors place them more at risk for that spillover.Without understanding the full picture, any possible solution risks not addressing the problem fully.The literature has mainly provided two paths for reducing campus stress, a classroom based wellness curriculum or different variations of physical activity.A study examining Turkish undergraduate medical students found that “place of residence, smoking status, and body mass index” were all contributing to rising stress levels (Nur, 2017).That paper, authored by researchers for the Cumhuriyet University Department of Public Health, found that new choices associated with the three factors all caused students to stress more.Next semester this literature review, along with other documents this semester, will provide the basis of a project to try and help my campus better handle stress.For new college students the transition to campus life brings freedom, opportunity, and the loss of a longtime safety net.