Plugged In

Posted by: Chelsey Teachout

Second semester at Drake University is already well under way.  Students’ schedules are once again full with classes, jobs, meetings, organizations, friends, and a steady supply of stress.  The Times-Delphic is already planning for Drake Relays.  I would say that the average Drake student is involved in at least a few things beyond the classroom.  Drake’s campus calendar has 11 activities going on this Friday for starters.

Image from the American Institute of Stress used for journalistic purposes

 

For journalism students, staying busy is a great way to keep in the information loop. Our story ideas come from people and events in action.  We would have little news if we existed only as students. Problems can develop when students become too involved, though.  I interviewed a student last year who was in over 20 organizations.  How can someone sustain that? This opened my eyes to a Drake trend. 

As a university, Drake recruits high-functioning students.  This is evident through not only Drake’s accreditation but also its high achievement in and out of the classroom. The National Study on Student Engagement showcased Drake as an exemplary school in October 2005. Many of us live an active social and educational lifestyle.  While we may have great advances building communities, learning new things, and preparing for a future, how are we holding up physically and mentally?

If you take a quick peek at Drake’s Health Center website, it has a whole section dedicated to stress.  One link connects to the American Institute of Stress.  The Institute points out that almost 75-90 percent of visits to primary health physicians are due to some type of stress.  My question is, as students preparing to go into the work of world, how are we going to combat a problem that can ruin quality of life?

How do you feel about stress management in your life? As a student would you like to say “no” to more activities? Or can there be a thing such as too plugged in? What are ways you deal with stress?

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4 responses to “Plugged In

  1. With so many opportunities Drake and J-school offers, I found it very difficult to say no. I say yes so many times, then realize I truly do not have time for everything. I hate saying no though. I want to help people, stay busy, and build my portfolio and resume. I realize though, that if I don’t have balance in my life, all of these activities are worthless. When I get too busy, I don’t put my best effort into the work I’m doing; I might as well not be doing it at all. I’m really having to learn how to say no in some situations.

  2. I need to learn how to say no more often as well. I often find myself over-committed with all of the activities I’m in which leaves me feeling over-tired and far too over-stressed. It’s a hard habit to combat though because, I too, participate in so many of the activities in order to help people, build up my portfolio and resume, etc. Though I try to put my best effort in to everything I do, I know that being so stressed sometimes leads to feelings of resentment and apathy toward what I am doing which in turn leads to decreased productivity and scrambling to get everything done in the end.

  3. I’ve watched overinvolved students fail classes, get physically sick, suffer mental and emotional breakdowns, forfeit important friendships, lose scholarships, even end up hospitalized.

    I am constantly advising students to cut back on their extracurriculars. No one ever listens.

    If you want to work in journalism when you graduate, focus your energy and time on extracurriculars that will advance you professionally (campus publications, internships, etc.) – and jettison the rest.

  4. I agree with all that was mentioned above to a certain degree. My dad has always said to me, “Busy people get more done.” Sounds simple, but when I relate it to my life it always surprises me with really how true it is. When I don’t have a minute of “free” time during the day – class, internship, volunteer, gym, group meetings, study for test the next day… I accomplish so much. When I do have time to spare (like my three hour block on Wednesdays), I often surf the web, take a nap, or chat with pals. I have found that when filling my life up with duties, I stay productive and on top of my game in all areas of my life.

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