Editorial Notebook

Handling stress at RPI

Being a student at RPI can be incredibly stressful. I consider myself to be an active participant in many student activities. That being said there are many times where it seems like all of my responsibilities can creep up on me. I am also not exempt to the plethora of work that comes from being an engineering student at RPI. Like many students, I have days where I don’t know how I will be able to complete all my work plus my outside responsibilities; however, luckily enough, I have found ways that have helped me deal with everything I have on my plate.

Being an RPI student who maintains a quality GPA while holding just a sliver of a social life can seem like an uphill battle; however, one thing that has helped me is taking a step back. When the stresses of being a student gang up on you, the best thing to do is to take a minute, step back, and tell yourself that you are doing the best you can—hopefully you are—and let the chips fall where they may. In my experience, this simple technique can swing the tides in your favor in helping you conquer all the pestering assignments and responsibilities you have.

Another way in which I personally deal with all of the stresses of life, is by working out. Although this is repeated so often that it’s practically cliché, I have found that it allows for myself to take a deep breath, and have a nice break from the hectic world around me. This can be extremely difficult to convince yourself to do when you know you have a ton of work ahead of you—especially if you are contemplating sleeping; however, I cannot emphasize how important this quick 20–30 minute break can be. Clearing your mind and exhausting your physical being could be the difference between completing a quality piece of work, or something that you just threw together because you had no idea what you were doing.

Lastly, when the stresses of life become too heavy to carry, the greatest medicine is the ability to lean on your friends. Understanding that you are not alone and that everyone else is going through the same challenges that you are can be a great breath of fresh air. I have been blessed with great friends that are willing to help me get through RPI—with my sanity. Although there are multiple ways of dealing with stress and countless techniques that can help you get through the trials and tribulations that RPI has to offer, the true secret is surrounding yourself with people who care about you and who are in the fight with you. Although at times it may seem uncomfortable, opening up to your friends and letting the people you care about help you can have the most therapeutic effects.

There are many ways to deal with stress and I have only touched on some of the ways in which it can be done. However, I can’t emphasize enough the strength of friendship in the fight against stress at RPI.