My Personal Experience With College

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Introduction What are the first few adjectives that come to your mind when you think of college? It is part of American culture to make college look like the best years of a person’s life. Television, movies, and even music does a fantastic job glorifying the college experience. Often times, the high stress is never portrayed. Take my school’s statistics on stress for example, 47.9% of MTSU students reported feeling their stress levels were greater than average over the 12 months prior to completing the survey, and 27.3% of MTSU students reported their academics were negatively impacted because of stress (MTSU, 2013). With that being said, “Could writing be an outlet for students to alleviate college stress?”
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Researchers from Wayne State University found that, “Writing about general life stress for 4 days led to better grades during the immediately subsequent semester” (Cameron &Nicholls, 1998). While the research does note that GPA was not actually raised, writing about stress prevented it from dropping in this study. In spite of the two compelling studies mentioned previously, writing doesn’t seem to work universally as a means of stress reduction. In some cases, it might not work at all according to Murray (2002) who states, “Writing about negative and positive life events produced no physical health benefits in undergraduate students.” In fact, it may widely depend on a student’s ability to derive meaning from their writing to reap any potential benefits. If the writer can not find meaning in their writing it may actually make the situation that’s creating stress even worse (Murray, 2010). Students shouldn’t take it upon themselves to write their feelings if they are just writing and not reflecting on them. One last thing to point out is the ability of writing to make you realize what has been hidden in your subconscious. If a student started writing their stressors out, they might eventually realize things they did not want to through their writing. Dr. Chandiramani (2016) explains that, “Some clients might find that writing about a particular experience makes them feel worse as the experience grows on them.” It seems writing about
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