Combating Stress with Campus Involvement

December 7, 2021

So, what is there to do in Decatur, IL? Don’t get me wrong, the squirrels do provide some entertainment! And obviously, there’s the fact of attending Millikin University to foster an education. But some may wonder well, what else is there to do? As a Millikin alumni, I am here to encourage you to step outside of the Commons, so you can immerse yourself into campus opportunities.

One of the most difficult transitions for a young adult is from high school to college. According to the American College Health Association, mental health disparity, such as stress, anxiety, and/or depression, is common in college students. Your responsibility and expectations are heightened in this new endeavor.

 The heavy weight of finding a lifelong career; new friend groups must be made; the proximity of family may change; and being responsible for your own laundry. Wow, talk about some stressful and anxious times!

Psychological barriers also create havoc on one’s physical body. According to the American Psychological Association, stress can induce negative effects on all body systems. Too much stress can produce effects such as headaches, elevated heart rate, GI disruption, and weight gain. How can you combat the psychological and physical effects of a collegiate lifestyle? Ideas for stress management are creating a social support network, engaging in physical exercise, and indulging in a pastime.

Managing stress can be fostered by diving into an array of campus activities. When you join or attend a campus organization, you have the chance to meet other peers. In addition, it allows for healthy academic breaks, and it may even spark interest in a new hobby. Have you ever tried singing outside of the shower?Lastly, it can disrupt the constant sedentary lifestyle with excessive study habits that you may fall into.

Not only do students attend college to have fun and achieve a pretty piece of paper at the end of four years, but college is an opportunity to set a solid adult foundation. The Student Involvement Theory states the connection to campus activities and organizations will create a positive impact in your current and future life. Involvement at your university allows for leadership moments, cognitive development, improvement in public speaking and interpersonal relationships, cultural growth, and career and lifestyle planning.

Millikin University has created a positive atmosphere for their students to achieve personal and professional goals. The Big Blue is well represented in the classroom and through extracurriculars on campus.

Here are some examples of campus involvement at Millikin University:

  • Fraternity/Sorority Life
  • Athletics (in addition to other intercollegiate sports): cheerleading, dance team(s), or intramural sports at the DISC
  • Fine arts/performance (active participation or attending events)
  • Honorary organizations
  • Academic (degree-specific) organizations
  • Student housing organizations

Finally, another helpful resource is reading the campus schedule posted in the weekly email to weigh all the possible options.

College can be the best four years of your life. Creating cohesive friendships, learning about your future career, and advancing your personal growth. College can also create unhealthy habits and therefore negatively affect psychosocial and physical systems.

 It is imperative to take control of your college career and promote a positive atmosphere. Participating in a variety of campus organizations allows for social interaction, physical activity, and development of personal and professional attributes.

 The reduction of stress and anxiety from campus involvement will allow for a fun and successful college experience. So, don’t let the smell of Staley’s keep you inside, get on out there!

Oh, and Go Big Blue!

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