The end of the semester is always a stressful time for students. Bombarded with projects, papers, and presentations, it’s a miracle that any sleep is obtained throughout the week! On top of that, life continues: jobs, clubs, and social events take place in the midst of the academic chaos. So, is there a reason why teachers and professors decide to assign everything at the same time?It’s common knowledge that stress could directly impact the quality of performance negatively (not to mention take a toll on heath), so why would instructors want to affect the success of their students?
Stress of course affects one’s ability to process information and solve complex problems it can be caused by project deadlines, societal pressures, and traffic. So, as a student, it’s important to know the best way to cope with stress in order to succeed. But it’s not all that bad! Stress actually releases norepinephrine which improves mood and encourages critical thinking. This type of stress which pushes us to be competitive, study more, or challenges us to do our best is called eustress. In a study by Geraldine O’Sullivan (2010), questionnaires were given to undergraduates to test whether an increase in eustress would in turn increase life satisfaction levels. Results showed a significant positive correlation with satisfaction in life and eustress. Addtionally,participants level of hope and self-efficacy, also examined in the study through a survey rating scale, revealed to be directly correlated with the amount of eustress a participant had. I believe that the assignments given by professors and teachers should be considered a type of eustress, as it fosters creative thinking and develops a person’s knowledge and cognitive ability, which in turn would increase a person’s satisfaction in life if they succeed in the task.
In this blog post by Justin Menkes, interviews with business professionals about how much stress they undertake supports the thought that perhaps exposure to stress help us in “the real world.” As we age, stress will most likely never leave us. So perhaps this is why professors and teachers give us workloads to last us a few nights in the library–just to make sure we can handle the professional world and the assignments handed to us. Be sure to keep these thought in mind as you get closer to deadlines of big projects or even the end of an academic semester. The more assignments, the more you learn, the more you learn, the more you’ll realize how satisfying life can be!
O’Sullivan, Geraldine. “The Relationship Between Hope, Stress, Self-Efficacy, And Life Satisfaction Among Undergraduates.”Social Indicators Research 101.1 (2011): 155-172. PsycINFO. Web. 3 Dec. 2011.