Cool, calm and collected
Counseling Center offers tips to manage stress
Everyone experiences stress in college, whether it’s during the first week away from home, during
exam week or when dealing with repayment of student loans.
“In whatever ways one can improve, increase and maintain the various resources that help to meet
environment demands, the less stress one will experience,” said Wayne Kinzie, a counselor in Grand
Valley State University’s Counseling Center.
Because students have so many things going on in their lives and so many different things to worry
over, lack of sleep is a common student issue, and sleep is vital to good health and less stress. On
average, students get about two hours less sleep than needed, Kinzie said.
“Sufficient sleep is an excellent resource that contributes to staying awake in class, being able to think
more clearly, improving memory ability and helping to rid the body of toxins,” he said.
Jordyn Gaunt, a freshman studying aquatic animal sciences at GVSU, has already dealt with stress this
“Most of my stress with coming to campus involved stressing that I forgot something important from
home or that I brought too much stuff,” she said. “I like to go to the gym when I’m stressed, or read a
book…or just sleep so I don’t have to think about what I’m stressed about.”
Stressors vary from person to person, but common college stressors include relationships, dating,
roommate conflicts, academic pressure, time management, finances and extracurricular activities.
Social skills are a factor that Kinzie said leads to lower stress. The more quality friendships created
and maintained, the better it is for overall emotional health. Coupling this with physical fitness
enhances the results further.
“Daily, intense aerobic exercise is very useful in better stress-management, and many students don’t
get this sufficiently,” Kinzie said. “Caring, loving, available emotionally, healthy relationships go a very
long way in better managing stress. At least three hugs a day is a good rule of thumb.”
Kinzie suggests that students take advantage of GVSU’s many resources, events and facilities to help
them prevent and cope with existing stress. Such resources include the Recreation Center, healthy
foods served by Campus Dining, tutoring services, office hours and aesthetic outdoor environments in
which to study and socialize.
The University Counseling Center at GVSU also provides individual and group counseling, educational
programs, referral services, consultation, outreach events and training to all GVSU students.
For more information on the University Counseling Center, visit www.gvsu.edu/counsel, or call 616-