Students learn to de-stress

Jan 222007
Authors: Amy Robinson

Although a ticking clock is not the most threatening sound in the world, college students facing a deadline may think otherwise.

Seventy-five to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints or disorders, according to findings with the American Institute of Stress.

Veronica Rivera is well aware of the pressure accompanying a busy schedule. The 29-year-old started her master’s program at CSU in Fall 2003. She is currently working towards her Ph.D. in education and human development and family studies.

Rivera is originally from El Salvador and moved to Colorado to complete her education with the aid of a scholarship.

“I had mixed feelings about moving away from my family, but I was happy about the opportunity,” she said.

Since moving to Fort Collins, Rivera has taken on a variety of responsibilities. She has an internship at the Monfort Children’s Clinic, works as a community coordinator for International House and attends CSU.

“I have a positive attitude and it helps me not feel overwhelmed,” Rivera said. “I have a planner and I always use it.”

The future therapist provided several tips for students struggling with time management.

“I allow myself 15 to 30 minutes between activities,” she said. “I walk or take a break and drink coffee. I have learned to prioritize and make a lists of projects.”

Rivera utilizes open communication skills with her professors, helping reduce stress levels.

“I keep in touch with professors and supervisors. I let them know I have a busy schedule,” she said.

Having a good relationship with colleagues allows Rivera to approach them more easily if a problem comes up or she needs the support.

“Try not to overbook yourself,” Rivera added. “Do the best you can. Finishing some things is an accomplishment. Keep things simple and manageable.”

To help her relax and clear her mind, Rivera does breathing exercises and meditation.

While Rivera chooses to focus on a few activities and not being overwhelmed, Edwin Moshia has a different way of handling stress.

Moshia, who is earning his degree in precision agriculture, said he enjoys multi-tasking. In fact, the South African native began writing a book the end of spring semester last year.

“‘African Village Boy’ took me four months to write,” he said. “It was a planned thing. (While writing the book) I switched between reviewing literature and studying academic style.”

The Fulbright scholar is already working on his next book about HIV, youth and the South African government. He also is complying a series of poems.

Moshia is also in charge of an AIDS awareness organization and strives to empower youth.

“You can change someone’s life through communicating,” he said. “I motivate myself. Nothing can stand between me and my destiny.”

He added that the mind is the key when attempting to accomplish goals and a positive attitude helps.

“When I was in South Africa, I was a big fish in a small tank,” Moshia said. “When I came to America, I realized there were sharks among the fishes.”

Despite the challenge of being in another country, he said he appreciates the opportunity. Moshia spends many hours in the library doing research.

“I am proud to say I studied in America,” he said. “I can do a lot for my country (South Africa). “Through talking and sharing my stories, I can help other people by motivating and informing them.”

For more information about time management and how to avoid stress visit or stop by the Wellness Zone, located in the Lory Student Center. Or call the University Counseling Center at 491-6053 to find out about the Stress Management Program. The center, located in C10 of the Clark Building, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Staff writer Amy Robinson can be reached at

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