How to Cope with College Stress? Young Adults Getting into Addiction as a Coping Mechanism
Learn more about the effects of stress on the body and methods for coping with stress in a college setting here.
Table of Contents
What is Stress?
Although you may know how stress feels or have a basic idea of the concept, you may not know exactly what stress is or what coping with stress looks like. On a biological level, stress is any change that can cause strain in the body. This strain can be physical, emotional, psychological, or a combination of the three.1
What Does Stress Feel Like?
- Feeling “wound up”
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Body aches
- Chest pain
- Racing heart
Acute Stress vs. Stress
Stress Symptoms and Signs
Stress can manifest in many different ways. That is why it is important to develop healthy mechanisms to practice coping with stress.
While it may seem like the only symptoms of stress are emotional, they can actually be physical as well as behavioral.
Physical Symptoms of Stress
While you may be familiar with how stress impacts your mind, you may not be as familiar with how it affects your body. There are many physical symptoms of stress, some of which are more noticeable than others. In fact, some symptoms of physical stress, such as nausea or cycle changes, may be mistaken for another cause entirely.
- Difficulty breathing
- Panic attacks
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Body aches and pains
- High blood pressure
- Changes in weight
- Hives or other notable rashes
- Changes to period or menstrual cycle
- An increase in the severity of existing physical health concerns
Behavioral Symptoms of Stress
Physical and emotional symptoms aren’t the only signs of stress. When you experience acute or chronic stress, you may also notice some behavioral symptoms. These are common when someone doesn’t know how to practice coping with stress through healthy habits. Some of the behavioral symptoms of stress include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Inability to make decisions
- Problems with memory
- Persistent worrying
- Snapping at friends and loved ones more often
- Nail biting
- Skin picking
- Dental problems, such as teeth grinding or clenching
- Problems with intimacy
College and Upper Education/Youth Impact on Stress
The average person spends around the first two decades of their life in school. It is also one of the first introductions to both acute and chronic stress, but also a time when coping with stress is important. Some of the stress that may be encountered as a student includes:
- Stress about school performance
- Financial stress
- Peer pressure
Stress Causes and Side Effects
Above, you’ve learned more about what stress is and how it may manifest in your day-to-day life. Below, you’ll learn more about the potential causes of stress and its side effects.
What Causes Stress?
Stress Effects and Risk Factors
How Easily Can College Students Fall into Addiction?
While there are many types of substance use disorders seen on college campuses, alcohol use disorder is one of the most common. It can show up during parties, free time, or even as a way of coping with stress.
How Long Does it Take to be Addicted to Alcohol?
There is no set number of drinks or fluid ounces you can drink before becoming addicted to alcohol. Some people may become dependent on alcohol after just a few times drinking, while other people may not develop an alcohol use disorder without binge heavy drinking.
Common Addictions Amongst College Students
How to Deal with Stress Without Turning to Illicit Substances/Addiction
- Social support
- Changing routine
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a nutritious, healthy diet
- Finding the balance between work and free time
- Reducing causes of stress in daily life
Treatment for Stress and Alcohol Addiction at Ripple Ranch Recovery
Here at Ripple Ranch Recovery, our team of professional healthcare providers is prepared to go above and beyond when it comes to helping you develop healthier habits. We offer many different treatment programs so that our compassionate and caring staff can develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs.
Treatment Opportunities at Ripple Ranch
- Inpatient programs
- Outpatient programs
- Behavioral therapy
- 2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3380803/
- 4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6527004/
- 5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3799532/