Any college student knows all about stress, and Hillsdale stu­dents are no exception. So how do people handle the stress that comes with piles of homework, essays, and extracur­ricular activities?

Julia Pletan, a junior and Head RA of Olds Res­i­dence, said she has healthy and unhealthy ways for dealing with stress. 

“My default way of dealing with stress is to close myself off from everyone around me and to block them all out,” she said. “That’s my unhealthy mechanism.”

To Pletan, han­dling stress in a healthy way means taking a second to stop every­thing she’s doing and take a deep breath. 

“Stop and breathe and find some­thing to be thankful for. I thank God for some­thing in my day. Actually finding someone to listen to my problems is really helpful. You have to stop and rec­ognize ‘Hey, I’m stressed right now,’ and then you seek someone out to listen to that. And then, turn it into thank­fulness for some­thing good,” she said.

Sonya Wirkus, a sophomore and an RA in Mauck Res­i­dence, also stops what she’s doing and takes a break to handle stress. 

“I deal with stress by setting every­thing aside, which is really hard to do. I like going for a run, because it really clears your mind and helps you focus on some­thing dif­ferent,” she said. “Sitting down and jour­naling, like writing down every­thing that you’re thinking, is really helpful too.”

Even when Wirkus has a pressing deadline, she said she still keeps up with running and jour­naling and manages her time and stress. “I don’t get to that place,” she said. “I get it done before.”

Gladys Oster, a sophomore and member of the Student Activ­ities Board, said the only fool­proof way she knows to cope with stress is to lean on God. 

“I journal a lot to God, to find clarity. It’s very important to remember that not every­thing is GPA, and not every­thing is writing that essay or making sure that you’re at every social event. It’s real­izing that you are enough and real­izing that Jesus has enough for you,” she said.

Like Wirkus, Oster also said running is one of her favorite ways to calm down. 

“Running has been a part of my life since I was younger. It gives me an oppor­tunity to move my body in a pro­ductive way, and it really helps me sort through a lot of my problems and realize that some things aren’t as big of a deal as they seem,” she said. 

Running seems to be an effective way to defuse stress. But what do you do when you’re stressed about running?

Adam Wier, a sophomore on the cross-country team, said that he often gets stressed before events, espe­cially 10,000 meter races on hills. 

“I usually just think about God, I think about my family, and I think about all the hard work I’ve done to get here,” he said. “I had to earn this, and that makes me really con­fident in myself and reminds me that I need to take advantage of my oppor­tunity here.”

Whether they’re stressed about homework, a race, or planning Hillsdale’s next event, these stu­dents all seem to agree that the best way to get rid of stress is to clear your mind and remember what really matters. 

Talking about your problems to others can be helpful too. According to Oster, con­ver­sa­tions with upper­classmen have helped her think about stress in a dif­ferent light.

“Some­times, we think that we should be stressed, or we should always be doing some­thing to be pro­ductive. But there’s a lot of good that can come from rest,” she said. “There’s a lot of grace and humility in real­izing that we can’t do it all.”