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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Wofford’s Stressed for Success Culture

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The most common cause of Wofford students’ stress is balancing a heavy workload with an enjoyable social life

Surviving College Stress

Depending on grade level, race, background, and many other factors, stress at Wofford is felt differently for each unique student. According to Melissa Cohen, an expert in psychology, “stress is the body’s reaction to a challenge”. For Freshman, the stress of finding a new friend group is normal as Olivia Harvey, ’23, claims “it’s stressful having to adjust to a new environment, people, and academic standards”. On the other hand, Sandra Lopez,’21, comments “the Wofford Bubble is definitely a thing” and wants to show the Spartanburg community that Wofford students care about more than studying and enjoying weekend festivities. Dieran Mcgowan,‘22, who is actively involved in the LAUNCH, Campus Union, and Wofford On Call explains “I constantly struggle to find time to do homework and focus on the groups that I am passionate about on campus”. Additionally, new stressors for Wofford students who are living off campus include the commute to and from school and being involved in the Wofford community despite living away from their peers. 

At Wofford students can sometimes feel overwhelmed to keep up academically with the rigorous curriculum while also creating the lifelong friendship and memories that couple the college experience. The most common cause of stress felt by most students is “the pressure to do well academically” despite that “there is always something fun going around on campus” (anonymous source). Additionally, Wofford students hold themselves to a high academic standard while also being involved with many different activities and clubs on campus. Hector Ortiz, ’22, explains a stressful day that he experienced at Wofford included “class from 8:30 until 5 because of lab a specific day… having to attend a fraternity chapter, an extra credit session, and another club meeting. Also, I had an exam the next day piled on top of two papers due the next day as well.” Unfortunately, most students experience days like this which contributes to Wofford’s stressed for success culture.

According to the American College Health Association in 2017 “87% of college students reported feeling overwhelmed by all they had to do at least once in the previous years.” Purdue outlines effective ways to manage stress through eating well and participating in regular exercise, having an outlet such as playing sports with friends, drawing, or finding a new hobby, creating a support system of trustworthy peers and mentors, and using positive affirmations in order to drown out negative thinking. Wofford students have their own creative ways to manage stress such as utilizing a to-do list (Leah MacDonald, ’22), seeking comfort by finding someone else who also looks stressed (Natalie Aversano, ’23), and playing with bubbles (Caroline Main, ’22). 

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Furthermore, there are campus organizations such as Active Minds that strive to break the stigmas surrounding mental health. However, the lack of therapy sessions available in the wellness center is a pertinent issue that should be addressed as there is a great need on campus to talk about mental health. Fortunately, most students agree that the majority of Wofford’s professors are genuinely invested in their student’s well-being and understand the stressors of college. Feeling stress is a normal part of the college experience; however, when stress and anxiety start to affect mental health, it is important to seek outside support.

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