Compressing Stress


Matias Abril, Staff Writer

With the combination of weekly assignments, tests, late night study sessions, constant quizzes, work, personal issues, and the overall attempt to balance it all, decompressing is an essential during the semester.

What triggers my stress most during the semester is when I wait too long to submit an assignment. I’m up at 11:30 trying to cram it, struggling to meet the 11:59 deadline. Not ideal. That, for me at least, never usually works, giving me a subpar grade that could have been better if I’d just started early. It took me a while to ease off this habit, and now as a senior I’ve made sure to start my assignments early. The sheer panic I experienced during this scared me away from doing it again.

After a long, tedious week that never seemed like it would end, I usually decompress by pushing school to the back of my mind, but only after my assignments are completed and submitted. I usually read and free write, go to the gym, watch a movie, and see friends. All are an are an essential for me and are mostly accessible on weekends. I am so thankful weekends exist.

Brian Bakalar, Director of Consultation and Case Management at CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) at FGCU, recommends students to make time for themselves and recharge their batteries when feeling stressed.

“If you can’t recharge your batteries, if you can’t reset, it’s going to be really difficult to continue in the semester,” said Bakalar.

Bakalar also recommends students to watch relaxing mediation videos on YouTube. They’re free and can be an effective way to decompress right from your room. Breathing exercises, yoga, and physical exercising, according to Bakalar, are also ways to decompress.

Exercising is crucial for me to decompress. Even if I’m at the gym for 45 minutes at seven in the morning on a Monday, it dictates my mood for the rest of the day. FGCU’s gym, located right next to SOVI, offers a free gym experience for students with many useable machines that can cater to anyone.

Sophomore Conner Gibbs uses the gym as his main decompressor. Gibbs is a Software Engineer major, currently taking four classes.

“The gym helps me decompress the stress caused by my classes,” Gibbs said. “I can be really stressed during the semester due to my classes and exercising helps regulate and get rid of all of that.”

Junior Alaina Villoria is an English major taking five classes, four of which are 4000 level. In between long readings and thesis papers, she finds solitude in hanging out with friends, taking a walk, riding her bike, reading, listening to music, and also going to the Cat Café.

“The Cat Café is a great way to spend an hour of my time and forget about the pressures and anxieties that come with the semester,” Villoria said.

The Cat Café is located in the Gulf Coast Town Center and is a place filled with adoptable kittens that visitors can play with for an hour. It’s a great experience that I recommend cat lovers, or anyone, to try.

Right next to the Cat Café is the Nectar Lab, a kava bar that is a good near campus hangout spot for students, which provides an aesthetically pleasing environment for students to come and hang out and escape from the stresses of the semester. Kava originally comes from a root and is put into a drink. Once taken, the used can feel relaxed, focused or energized. The Nectar Lab offers an assortment of drinks with many varieties.

While there are many ways to decompress with your own methods, sometimes the weight over your shoulders can feel too heavy. If you ever are in need of help and are feeling too overwhelmed by the semester, you can set up an appointment at CAPS by calling them at 239-590-7950 or emailing them at [email protected]. Their services can be really helpful for someone who is looking for help during a stressful semester.