Opinion: Student Stress


Naomi Ruiz

Illustration made on Canva.

Naomi Ruiz, Reporter

CSUN social worker Marlon Briggs says student stress is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic shifting around everyday lives of students.

“Any sort of change, whether it be good change, bad change, unexpected change, neutral change can have some impact on us physically, mentally, emotionally… and having to adjust from doing life one way to doing life another way,” Briggs says. “[The pandemic] changed dynamics at home and changed dynamics in school.”

He recalls a time when he was a college student himself as a young adult. Especially when he also had to navigate through his own obstacles at the time.

“I was doing school, I was doing life, I was doing friendships, relationships, work, and… Now they’re saying, ‘Let’s go back to what we were doing, but still do this [differently],’” Briggs says.

Now that the pandemic is calming down, Brigg notices things are transitioning for CSUN students. He also recognizes that helping students go through changes can help them manage stress.

“Letting them know that we’re here… [We] can help with that transition. Because adjustment can bring up anxiety symptoms [and] depressive symptoms… [It] can really make things more stressful.”

Briggs speaks on behalf of Counseling Services when he says they want students to know they can support them and be their safe space when going through life changes.

“Life is difficult sometimes [and] it’s hard to cope. We all need safe spaces that can help us cope.”

Though Counseling Services has therapeutic resources for students, some students are not able to make the time depending on their everyday schedules.

History major Patrick Buschelman handles the weekly stresses of low sleep and heavy workloads.

“I manage these through taking things a week at a time,” Buschelman said via voice message. “I take two days out of my week and dedicate them to relaxing.”

Screenwriting graduate major Alina Davila plays sets up certain hours for her to-do tasks during the day or night.

“One tool that helps me keep track of what I need to do is notion,” Davila says. “My notation board has a calendar of all my assignments and I have a tab for work-related things.”

Though Buschelman attends CSUN part-time, he is mostly focusing on his full-time job as a teacher assistant at Micheltorena Elementary School. His position for the Los Angeles Unified School District requires 30 hours per week with the exception of weekends off.

Buschelman is learning to manage his schedule to the best of his ability. However, he says CSUN could help students with hard work schedules like his own by having all departments offer a minimum of five night classes a semester.

“Being able to have a much more flexible schedule and having night classes and for other people who have morning jobs… would be an incredible stressor to get rid of,” Buschelman says.

To learn to deal with everyday stressors, Briggs says Counseling Services can provide “opportunities for students to engage in things and learn tools and skills that can help improve their situation.”