Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So is stress. We all have our different reasons for stress. That is because there is no way to declare “this” is stressful, but “that” is not. For each of us, our stress is built on our perceptions and our internalizations. This premise is very true for college students.
We work with students all over the country. We work with students at some of the most elite schools in the country, large state schools, small liberal arts schools, and community colleges. The setting is not an important factor in this equation because we all feel stress for different reasons. We have to first recognize that a student at a local community college has no reason to feel less stress than a student at Harvard. They also have no reason to feel more stress. We need to work with each individual according to how they are perceiving their world.
An academic coach can significantly help a college student reduce their stress. Our coaches help students start with the goals they’re looking to accomplish and work with each student to deconstruct the components. This process is quite reflective and gives college students a forum to explore how they think and feel about a goal, how much stress it creates, and the steps that they can take in order to accomplish their goals. A coach is someone who can empathize with them and provide ongoing assistance and support that they need in order to reduce and work through their stress.
As coaches, we confront a variety of stressful situations with our students: a big test, a roommate annoyance, a difficult TA, a challenging paper. The circumstances are wide ranging, but the objective is always the same. We want students to be aware of their stress, to plan through it, and then to execute their plan. We have found that the check-in, accountability, and the small, weekly goals students set all contribute towards their success and a decrease in stress. Ultimately, by working with a coach, students can conquer stress and make themselves more effective and productive college students.