Being a student, my primary stressors involve school and career-related things. As a whole, school is without a doubt the most stressful thing in my life at the moment. Currently, I have 18 credits of classes, 15 of which are junior-level civil engineering courses. These classes involve many hours of studying and work every week, not to mention having an exam in at least one class nearly every week. My classes occupy most of my free time during the week, and can be exceptionally stressful at times. School also brings with it several other stressors. For example, I work eight hours a week as a tutor. While this is not a huge amount of hours, it can be stressful at times because I have appointments with difficult students, and working makes it harder to get all my work done. Finances do stress me, but fortunately I am fairly well off in that respect, which saves me a lot of stress.
Another big stress at the moment is my search for an internship. I have been searching since the beginning of the semester, and I have contacted approximately 50 companies. It seems as though civil engineering firms do not have a lot of work currently, thanks to a slow economy. Internships are critical for civil engineering because first, we all need to earn money, and second, employers like to see previous experience when hiring students right out of college. As of writing this report, I still do not have a definite internship and there are only a few weeks left in the semester.
There are many techniques and strategies for managing stress. Many of these include physical activities such as breathing techniques and exercise. Mental activities such as meditation and mental imagery have also helped many people manage stress. Other techniques such as improving time-management skills, decreasing or eliminating drug and alcohol use, and diet improvement have been proven to help as well. Many commonly prescribed stress management techniques are actually lifestyle changes that prove to be beneficial in many ways beyond just stress management.