Stress and college relationships

People say college is the best part of your life but they frequently leave out all the stress that comes with the experience.


Stress doesn’t only affect you and the way you are feeling. It can also affect the people you surround yourself with.


Stressors experienced outside a relationship by one or both partners can cause distress in the relationship.


With Tech students, a lot of our stressors come from our day-to-day life of being a college student.


“When you are with someone and you spend a lot of time with them, you start to pick up on their unspoken language,” sophomore Camden Burgess said. “When you see someone you’re that close with start to get stressed, it starts to stress you out because you just want to help them.”


Burgess said that school is one of his biggest stressors, but dealing with finances, distance and making time for one another when he barely has any time to give are at the top of his list as well.


Trying to understand the type of stress you are having with these experiences like Burgess did helps you overcome them without feeling more stressed or drained.


Research has shown that women show more physical symptoms associated with stress and with men, symptoms may be more difficult to read.


When staying in tune with your partner, it is easier to discover functional ways of coping with stress. This can restore emotional closeness, renew intimacy and revive romance.


“What works best for me and my boyfriend is when we properly communicate our stressors then we have the ability to work through them together,” student Kortney Robbins, who has been in a three-year relationship, said.


Robbins said that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask your significant other to understand that you each need to do things for yourself so that when it comes to your relationships, you have the strength and energy to put in the effort to maintain your relationship.


Other helpful tips to balance a relationship in college are:

  • Don’t start dating just because your peers are
  • Communicate about where your time needs to be devoted
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no” to social engagements.


If you are experiencing stress throughout college and have a method to help cope with stress make sure you are choosing healthy options. Some stress management strategies will end up making you feel worse than you started.


“Often times when my partner is stressed out, it’s harder for me to be relaxed and vice versa,” Tyrus Cowan said. “When you’re consistently in contact with someone throughout the day, it makes sense that your emotions would coincide with theirs.”


Examples of unhealthy stress management strategies are over and under eating, ignoring the stressors, procrastinating with social media or television and smoking or drinking compulsively.


Instead, you should be turning to spend time with loved ones, confronting the stressors, seeking professional help and taking a break.


Stress is inevitable in college, but it doesn’t have to dominate your life. Do your best to understand what kind of stress you’re feeling, what’s causing it and how you can respond to it productively.


By addressing your stress in a healthy way, you are doing all that you can make to make the most of your college education.


If you or your partner needs professional help or would like more information on how to cope with stress in college, contact Tech’s counseling center at 931-372-3331 or send an email to