Mar 312008
 
Authors: Jeff Rosenberry

The clock is ticking with only one and a half months of school left but for some this may seem like an eternity. For others, the end of the year is closer than you might think.

No matter how you look at it though, there is a lot going on over the last few weeks of school. The classroom work alone is enough to make some stomachs turn.

Right on cue, the weather is improving, making it even harder to stay focused. There are study groups, the search for a place to live, the friendships, the relationships and, most importantly, the final project you have been avoiding.

How are you dealing with it all?

Even with this joyous end of the year approaching, many of us are in stressful positions that are causing some conflict in our relationships, with our friends, with employers, or even with professors.

Well, there is help for the student who is being bombarded with issues of stress and conflict, and it is free.

I am not talking about going on a run, taking a hike, or counseling — although all those are great options for the student who needs to take a break. But, rather, I am talking about just changing your response.

People often throw around the word “conflict,” but what does it really mean to be in conflict? Webster defines conflict as “a state of disharmony between incompatible or antithetical persons, ideas, or interests; a clash.” And how, might you ask, do situations end up in conflict?

Contrary to popular belief, it has little to do with whether you like or dislike a person. A lot of conflict actually stems from a lack of listening – people not really listening to each other and not hearing what the other person is saying.

We have all heard the term “stop and smell the roses,” but what about stopping to listen and hearing what people say? This is the single greatest way to alleviate conflict in your day-to-day life.

When fighting with a partner or a friend, we often get caught up with saying what we want to say and being right. A quick and simple fix to most conflict issues stems from the ability to really listen to what the other person is saying and making sure they feel heard.

Only then, will they be able to really hear you and what you are saying. Go ahead — try it next time you are in an argument with someone. Instead of throwing a fit to get your point across, just sit there and listen to what the other person has to say. I guarantee that it will present a clearer picture of what is really going on between the two of you and you might actually hear the places where you agree versus only the places where you disagree.

Once they feel heard, you can then share your perspective. They will be more likely to listen to you because you have just made them feel heard.

The fact is, the Collegian could probably do an entire issue on the many ways we can resolve the conflict we have in our life, but this article will suffice with the simple advice: listen up.

Some of you are reading this thinking that you can easily give this a try and others are reading this wanting to beat down my door with your conflict and thinking it is much easier said than done. For those thinking the latter or that your conflict is too great, there is help — and it is still free.

The Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services office, located in room 200 in the Lory Student Center, is a place where students can get support and tools to deal with a variety of university-related conflicts. Our staff will either provide you with the tools to solve the conflict on your own or provide assistance in a variety of ways.

No issue is too big and no conflict is too small for our office. Whether you are struggling with a professor or your roommate situation is getting on your nerves, our office is there to support and assist you.

As the year comes to a close, avoid taking on added stress. Utilize the Conflict Resolution office and get some assistance.

You should never have to do it alone, and the Conflict Resolution team is in place and ready to bring that stress level down, allowing you to concentrate on the things that are more important — classes, BBQs, tanning, lawn darts, etc.

For more information about the services the Conflict Resolution office can provide you, please visit our webpage at www.conflictresolution.colostate.edu. To set up an appointment, call (970) 491-7165.

The power is yours, but sometimes it is nice to know that there is support right upstairs in the Lory Student Center.

Jeff Rosenberry is a graduate student for the office of Conflict Resolution and Student contact services. Luci Storelli-Castro’s column will return next week. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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