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Academic Stress among Graduate Students – Essay Sample

Academic Stress among Graduate Students – Essay Sample

College can be one of the most mentally stressing places for any individual – but students pursuing higher education at a graduate level will need to be especially careful of maintaining a healthy stress level. Too much stress can actually be physically, mentally and academically damaging to graduate students. Without proper understanding and management, students can suffer from low concentration, anger, depression and even anxiety-induced health problems. All of these things contribute to a falling grade. There are many factors that contribute to graduate student stress; amongst the main contributing factors are:

  • Academic pressure. Many students feel extremely pressured by academic expectations. Graduate studies can be especially wearing on a student, since they require more focus, study, knowledge and depth than undergraduate.
  • Social obligations. Graduate students often spend more time than non-graduates absorbed in their work. This can result in peer isolation, which may lead to depression. Even students that do still actively pursue social environments may sacrifice study time in order to do so.
  • Finances. Graduate students often need to work to help pay their way through school, and lack of funds can become extremely stressful.

There are many ways that students – especially those at the graduate level – can minimize their chances of becoming overly stressed. Some of the most common strategies for avoiding stress include:

  • Organizing. Students that have study schedules, keep track of due dates and organize their assignments will be far less likely to forget work, fall behind or panic-rush – all of which contribute to stress.
  • Using effective learning techniques. Not everyone learns and performs the same, so determine which study methods work best for you. For example, when you study for a test, does it help for you to be quiet and alone, or in a study group?
  • Staying healthy. Students that eat well, exercise and get enough sleep typically suffer from less stress than students that don’t.
  • Staying social. Students, especially graduate students, often find themselves isolated with their work. Social interaction is essential to maintaining a healthy self-image and stress level. Students should just ensure that social activities won’t interfere with their academics.

There are many ways for graduate students to avoid excess stress. However, it is important to understand that traditionally, graduate students still suffer more stress than the average college student. Stress can get so severe that students can suffer mental and emotional effects (such as depression) and even consider suicide. In such cases, professional counseling and interventions may be needed.

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