The adjustment to academic life at college is stressful for almost every new student. In addition, each student has specific situations and events that cause him or her stress (public speaking, test taking, being able to say no when you really don't have the time, and issues around money, relationships, parents, partying, roommates, careers, tests, and papers).

Our stress level is determined primarily from our reactions to stressors:

  • Both positive and negative events can cause stress (i.e., mid-terms, try-outs, winning the lotto, pressure to find a job, family crises).
  • People have different stressors (e.g., public speaking may cause much more stress for some people than others).
  • The body does not distinguish between real and perceived stress; the reactions are very much the same.
  • People respond to stress in a variety of ways. Behaviors run the gamut from those that are health promoting to those that are not healthy to use more than occasionally.
  • Effective stress management requires time, attention, and effort.

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