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Try College 101

Unit 11: Managing Your Health and Stress   You may be aware that poor health can be a major cause of stress, but did you know that prolonged stress can also cause bad health? Especially if being a college student coincides with your first experience living away from your parents, or if you are balancing school with work or your own family life, college can present new and stressful academic, social, and financial challenges. Managing your responsibilities well includes managing the stress they may cause you, and this unit provides you with proven strategies for stress management that can help.
 
For some people, one of the biggest challenges about stress is recognizing the symptoms of stress before they are out of control. Others struggle with identifying the causes of their stress. This unit will present you with strategies to help you realize when you are feeling stress and pinpoint the cause of that stress. It will also give you techniques for managing and reducing stress, both in the short- and the long-term.

Unit 11 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 17.5 hours to complete:

☐    Subunit 11.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 11.2: 7.25 hours 

☐    Subunit 11.3: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 11.4: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 11.5: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 11.6: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 11.7: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 11.8: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 11.9: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 11.10: 3.5 hours

☐    Subunit 11.11: 1 hour

☐    Unit 11 Assessment: 1 hour

Unit11 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - explain various academic demands and challenges that are faced by different types of students; - describe the elements of a healthful lifestyle; - identify personal sleep, exercise, and diet needs; - list common causes of stress for college students; - describe the physical, mental, and emotional effects of persistent stress; - illustrate techniques for managing and reducing stress; - identify personal symptoms and causes of stress; - formulate a personal plan for managing your stress; - identify negative feelings and depressive thoughts and develop strategies for managing and preventing them; and - discuss ways to manage your sexual health and identify resources to support and protect your sexual health.

11.1 What Kind of Student Are You?   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 1, Section 1.2: Different Worlds of Different Students” Link: College Success“Chapter 1, Section 1.2: Different Worlds of Different Students” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section in its entirety. College students comprise a more diverse group than you ever may have experienced before. You will have a much more interesting and fruitful time in college if you understand this change and know where you and your friends fit into the mix. For each category of student described in this section, consider whether you could fit into the category. It will be useful for you to be particularly aware that you and other students may fit into more than one category! Just as there are many diverse students that make up a college population, so too are there many ways to be a successful student in college. Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the reading. 
 
Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution, as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.2 The Elements of a Healthful Lifestyle   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10: Taking Control of Your Health” Link: College Success“Chapter 10: Taking Control of Your Health” (PDF)
 
Instructions: In Chapter 10, complete the “Where Are You Now?” and “Where Do You Want to Go?” self-assessments on the state of your current health. Then, read the “How Do I Get There” section to gain an understanding of the information you will explore in Chapter 10. Finally, read the introduction to get a good overview of this important unit.  
 
Reading this section should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.2.1 Nutrition and Weight Control   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 10.1: Nutrition and Weight Control” Link: College Success“Chapter 10, Section 1: Nutrition and Weight Control” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section in its entirety. Make sure to complete the self-assessment and checkpoint exercises in this reading. Keep in mind that college life can present unique challenges to your eating habits, but by employing the strategies in this reading, you can successfully control you nutrition and weight.  
Reading this section and completing the self-assessment and exercises should take approximately 2 hours.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.2.2 Activity and Exercise   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 10.2: Activity and Exercise” Link: College Success“Chapter 10, Section 2: Activity and Exercise” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section in its entirety and complete the self-assessment and checkpoint exercises in the text. If you are primarily an online student, this section may have particular importance for you! As an online student, you may be more sedentary. When you do not have to walk to and from classes across a large campus, you may have to seek alternative ways to add activity to your day.

 Reading this section and completing the self assessment and
exercises should take approximately 2 hours.  
    
 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.2.3 Getting Enough Sleep   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 10.3: Sleep” Link: College Success“Chapter 10, Section 10.3: Sleep” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section to learn the basics of good sleep. Take care in reading the first section, titled “The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep,” to identify the reasons why you should pay attention to your sleeping habits. Make sure to complete the self-assessment and the checkpoint exercises in this reading.  
 
Reading this section and completing the self-assessment and exercises should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.2.4 Substance Use and Abuse   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 10.4: Substance Use and Abuse” Link: College Success“Chapter 10, Section 10.4: Substance Use and Abuse” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section in its entirety. Make sure to complete the self-assessment, the case study, and the checkpoint exercises. Please note that, as an online student, your reactions to this section will not be seen, heard, or read by instructors, administrators, or other students. This information is between you and yourself only, so make sure that your answers are honest and comprehensive. You can make decisions later about what actions you may or may not take; first, just read to inform yourself, without judgment.  

 Reading this section and completing the self-assessment and
exercises should take you approximately 2 hours.  
    

Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a
[Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.3 What Exactly Is Stress?   - Lecture: Dartmouth College Academic Skills Center’s “Stress Management” Link: Dartmouth College Academic Skills Center’s “Stress Management” (QuickTime Video)
 
Instructions: Watch this video to learn what stress is and effective stress management techniques.  It may help to take notes as you watch this video.
 
Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

11.4 What Causes Stress?   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 5: Stress” Link: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 10.5: Stress” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the introductory text to this section, complete the self-assessment, and read the text below the heading titled “What Causes Stress.”
 
This material covers the topics outlined in subunits 11.4.1 and 11.4.2 below. 

 Reading this section and completing the self-assessments should
take you approximately 30 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.4.1 Major Life Events   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.4 above. Review the paragraphs and bullet points that give examples of major life events that may cause stress, under the heading titled “What Causes Stress?” In your notebook, reflect on any major life stressors you have experienced over the years, and the ways in which you handled them. Knowing your past personal coping mechanisms will provide you with insight on how you can improve your strategies in the future. Spend approximately 15 minutes reflecting on this topic and writing in your notebook.

11.4.2 Everyday Stressors   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.4 found above. Review the bullet points and paragraphs that discuss more common stressors, under the heading titled “What Causes Stress?” In your notebook, consider what stressors you may face in your daily life and how you may overcome these stressors to focus on your studies. Spend approximately 15 minutes reflecting on this topic and writing in your notebook.

11.5 The Effects of Stress   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 10.5: Stress” Link: College Success“Chapter 10, Section 5: Stress” (PDF)
 
Instructions: In this section, read the text below the heading titled “What’s Wrong with Stress?” to gain an understanding of the negative effects that stress may cause.
 
This reading also covers the material you need to know for subunits 11.5.1 and 11.5.2 below. 
 
Reading this section should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete. 
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.5.1 Long-Term Effects   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.5 above. Review the bullet points that follow the first two paragraphs of the section to learn about the significant long-term physical effects of chronic stress. Many of these effects can develop into serious medical conditions over time; be sure to monitor your responses to stress so that you can manage your health before stress exacts long-term consequences.

11.5.2 Long-Term Effects of Chronic Stress   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.5 above. Review the bullet points that are identified as acute, or short-term, stress to learn about the negative effects of this kind of stress. Can you identify any additional short-term effects of stress that you have experienced in your life?

11.6 Responses to Stress   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 10.5: Stress” Link: College Success“Chapter 10, Section 10.5: Stress” (PDF)
 
Instructions: In this section, please read the text below the headings titled “Unhealthy Responses to Stress,” “Coping with Stress,” and “Tips for Success.” Make sure to complete the self-assessment, journal, and checkpoint exercises.
 
Reading this section and completing the self-assessment, journal, and exercises should take you approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.7 Positive Responses   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read through this PowerPoint presentation to review
additional positive techniques to manage stress. It is vital that
you reach out for help before you feel desperate or in a panic over
your stress levels. A little help early on can help you learn how to
manage stress before it becomes a major problem.  
    
 Reading this presentation should take approximately 15 minutes.

11.8 Emotional Health and Happiness   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 10.6: Emotional Health and Happiness” Link: College Success“Chapter 10, Section 10.6: Emotional Health and Happiness” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section up until the “Relationships” heading, which will be covered in the next subunit.  Make sure to complete the self-assessment in the text.
 
This material also covers the topics outlined in subunits 11.8.1 and 11.8.2 below. 

 Reading this section and completing the self-assessments should
take you approximately 30 minutes.   
    
 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.8.1 Problematic Emotions   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the introduction to the section, your answers to the self-assessment, and the text below the heading titled “Problematic Emotions.”

11.8.1.1 Anxiety   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Focus on reviewing the bullet points under the heading titled “Anxiety,” which describe five more serious forms of anxiety. If any of these forms of anxiety sound familiar to you, it is likely that some professional counseling could greatly improve your emotional health.

11.8.1.2 Loneliness   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Review the bullet points under the heading titled “Loneliness.” Keep in mind that while you may not feel these emotions as strongly as they are described here, you may experience a version of these emotions at some point in your college career. Learning about these emotions and how to cope with them now will prove important and helpful to you in the future.

11.8.1.3 Depression   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Review the bullet points under the heading titled “Depression.” Pay particular attention to the bullet points that describe when negative emotions have progressed to the level of depression. Pay attention to identifying these symptoms now, even though they may not apply to you or someone you know at this point.

11.8.1.4 Suicidal Feelings   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Review the bullet points under the heading titled “Suicidal Feelings.” Pay attention to identifying these symptoms now, even though they may not apply to you or someone you know at this point.
 
If you or a friend is in a crisis and needs help at any time, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). All calls are confidential.

11.8.2 Emotional Balance   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.8 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the text below the headings titled “Achieving Emotional Balance” and “Tips for Success: Emotional Health.”

11.9 Relationships   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 10.6: Emotional Health and Happiness” Link: College Success“Chapter 10, Section 10.6: Emotional Health and Happiness” (PDF)
 
Instructions: In this section, please read the text beneath the “Relationships” heading. After finishing this reading, make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the text.
 
Reading this section and completing the exercises should take you approximately 30 minutes. 
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.10 Sexual Health   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 10, Section 10.7: Sexual Health” Link: College Success“Chapter 10, Section 7: Sexual Health” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section in its entirety. Make sure to complete the self-assessment; know that this assessment is confidential and can be kept in your notebook for your own personal information. Complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the reading.
 
This material also covers the topics outlined in subunits 11.10.1 through 11.10.4 below. 
 
Reading this section and completing and the exercises should take you approximately 2 hours.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.10.1 Understand Your Sexual Values   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.10 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the section titled “Sexual Values and Decisions.” Pay special attention to the careful definitions of various terms used in the text. Knowing how your values are related to these issues is an important part of building your own value system.

11.10.2 Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.10 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the text below the headings titled “Alcohol and Sexual Activity,” “What’s ‘Safe Sex’?” and “Sexually Transmitted Infections” (STIs). Take time to review the information included in Table 10.2.

11.10.3 Preventing Unwanted Pregnancy   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.10 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the section titled “Preventing Unwanted Pregnancy.”

11.10.4 Preventing Sexual Assault and Date Rape   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.10 above. Spend approximately 15 minutes reviewing the section titled “Sexual Assault and Date Rape.” Pay special attention to the carefully defined terms in this section. It is especially important that you are aware of this information so that you can protect yourself and avoid an unsafe situation.
 
If you are sexually assaulted, talk to someone. Call 911, a rape crisis center, your student health center, and/or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) for a confidential conversation.

  • Reading: Vassar College: Sexual Assault Violence Prevention (SAVP): “What Is Consent?” Link: Vassar College: Sexual Assault Violence Prevention (SAVP): “What Is Consent?” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this webpage. Think about how you can prevent sexual assault and violence. Make a list of important emergency phone numbers for your own campus and/or home. Be sure to program these phone numbers into your cell phone.
     
    Reading this webpage and taking notes on the important phone numbers should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

11.11 Evaluate Your Stress Levels   - Activity: The Oxygen Plan Corporation’s “Oxygen Plan Stress Test” Link: The Oxygen Plan Corporation’s “Oxygen Plan Stress Test” (HTML)
 

Instructions: Complete this self-evaluation. At the end of the
evaluation, print or save your “Stress Numbers,” and then click on
the “What Your Scores Mean” button. Read the explanations on this
page, and then print or save this page as well. You will need this
information to answer the questions for the next assignment in this
subunit.  
    
 Completing this self-assessment activity should take approximately
30 minutes.  
  

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Activity: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Week 9 Activity” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Becky Samitore-Durand’s “Week 9 Activity” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Using your results from the “Oxygen Plan Stress Test,” which you completed in the activity above, answer the questions in the PDF linked above.
     
    Completing this activity should take approximately 30 minutes.

Unit 11 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Developing a Plan for Managing Health, Stress, and Use of Technology” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Developing a Plan for Managing Health, Stress, and Use of Technology” (HTML)
 
Instructions: In this assessment, you will be asked to think about strategies for protecting yourself and safely dealing with stress. Please take note of the suggestions and resources that will appear after you submit your reflections. You may want to keep some of these phone numbers in your cell phone's contacts. If you feel comfortable sharing any of your answers, consider posting on the Try College 101 Discussion Board after you finish.
 
Completing this assessment should take approximately 30 minutes.