The weight of stress: Finding balance

Written by: 
Dani A. Castro

The beginning of a new semester places more than just books in backpacks. A new semester brings additional responsibilities. BYUH students and faculty share their thoughts on how someone can prepare to carry the stress of newly ushered responsibilities that come from school, church, work and social life.

Kaha’akea Sproat, a senior from the Big Island studying music, recommended people change their perspective on how stress affects them. “You can use stress to help yourself grow. Stress helps us to grow because we can look back at that stress and see what it was and appreciate it for what it helped us become.”

Sister Karma Whiting, a senior missionary from Arizona and staff member at the Center for Academic Success, said she challenges students to take stress head on. “There’s usually a couple of reasons why you’re stressed as a student. So once we pinpoint what it is, then you can figure a way to handle that stress. You can run all day if you like running, but if there is still a big problem in your life, you’ll still be stressed.”

Whiting also gave insight on how to handle burdens people have no control over. “Let it go....You let God handle that, and He will. We know that Jesus Christ will handle that for us. When we can’t control it, we’re not supposed to. That’s something that I’ve learned also. It’s okay to give up control.”

Taking time to organize has helped Sproat manage his stress. “Usually when I get put in [stressful] situations, I try to take myself out of them,” he said. “Do something else for a bit. Step out and make sure that everything that I need to do are put order and come back into it.”

Prioritization and counsel focusing on spiritual matters have helped him develop more self-discipline, Sproat added. “If you don’t prioritize, you could miss out on something important. You can minimize your stress by getting the most important things done first. Putting God first is going to give you the opportunity to live with peace in your mind that everything is going to be fine.”

Laiken Tomie, a senior from Canada studying accounting, related a saying she heard during final exams last semester: “Diamonds are made from pressure.” She added, “I like to think that stress tests us and urges us to grow and become our best.”

Tomie said she glows from optimism as she confronts new challenges and is comforted by the lifestyle at BYUH. “I try to stay positive when handling stress and I do my best to remember the blessings I have in my life. I feel capable of finding balance. I think stress is different at BYUH for that reason. I know if I strive to prioritize the teachings of the gospel, it will help me realize what truly matters.”

Whiting wants students who are struggling with the weight of new obligations to come visit the Center for Academic Success. “If you’re a stressed student and decide to come to the academic center, we would have a prayer, then we would talk to you and ask you why you are stressed.

“You can have balanced life. You can schedule your time, and if you will be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there, it makes life a whole lot easier.”

Date Published: 
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Last Edited: 
Tuesday, February 13, 2018