Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Southeast students learn about resilience to cope with stress

Monday, February 24, 2020
Administrative Assistant Kyle Vanpool talking about stress at the UC in the Indian room.
Photo by Makayla Caldwell

Stress and college go hand-in-hand, but does anybody really know how to handle it?

John Nimmo, a substance abuse counselor at Southeast, gave a seminar on Wednesday, Feb. 19, where he shared his strategies to coping with stress: resilience.

The Academic Support Center sponsored the event titled Mental Health: The Importance of Resilience, which was held from 12 to 1 p.m. in the Indian Room at the University Center

Nimmo defined resilience as “the ability to adapt and cope in the face of negative events and difficult experiences, which helps you get through the hard things.”

“It is something we have inside of us,” he said. “Even if you don’t have it inside of you, reaching out to someone else where you can get it — from like a counselor or a friend — is a part of [resilience].”

Nimmo said avoidance and procrastination are two of the main contributing factors to the development of stress, and this can look different for every college student.

During the seminar, Nimmo asked the audience questions about ways they could build resilience.

Junior Sonye Turner suggested therapy, speaking to a counselor or going to classes that teach how to manage stress.

Southeast junior Kharryeon Ellis expressed ways that has helped her deal with stress in her college career.

“I usually take naps; sometimes I treat myself with dessert, or just call my mom,” she said. “I also really like taking walks in the park just to get away.”

Because stress and college is closely associated, it could affect mental, emotional and physical health in day to day university life.

Ellis recognized how stress has affected her mindset toward life in pursuit of her degree.

“It makes me second guess getting a degree,” she said. “It starts to make me think I could have started my own business or joined the navy or something. I do believe that college students are underestimated, so whenever we are living this college life it’s 10 times harder from the outside looking in.”

Ellis said when she feels stressed, she will think back to the seminar and remind herself of the tricks and techniques she learned.

“I really liked the part that he talked about self-care,” she said. “Also the part when he talked about having accountability and a support system — I think that’s really important and stuck out to me as well as the resources that he gave us afterwards.”

For those seeking help dealing with stress or finding ways to build resilience, contact Counseling and Disability Services at (573)-986-6191.