How students can release stress in a better way
It is easy to get into bad habits after leaving home and not find a way out. This is the story about how I used to compensate my stress in my twenties and how I do it now. Hopefully you’ll find my story helpful to make better decisions for your own development than I did in this decade of your life.
What awaits in your twenties
Turning 30 I look back at the last decade and maybe there is a piece of advice (admittedly unsolicited) in there for anyone who spreads their wings to go out into the world to study and start to work. I personally left my own home in 2006 moving from a town of 50.000 to Stuttgart in Germany. I always like to call my hometown Nordhorn the “biggest town in Germany without a train station”. This was fact for a while, if it still is, only the busy administrates in the German legislative can tell. Stuttgart has roughly 700.000 inhabitants and an underground system. Now that is something my current workplace Dublin, as the capital of Ireland, does not have, which would be worth another article in its entirety, but I digress.
When I moved to Stuttgart I started off full of power and good thoughts for my future. My mother did everything for me back at home from a domestic perspective. While this was great of her and I did not thank her enough for it, it did not necessarily help to establish good habits in my new environment. Her tragic death caused by cancer in 2007 and additional pressure from an exam heavy quarter did the rest to push me into a spot where I had to compensate for my stress. The path I took was troublesome.
What adults say
More often than not I witness discussions among adults that students should get their act together brushing off the fact, that these young adults are usually displaced, disorientated, under pressure from exams and too proud to ask their parents for much needed help or already knowing that not much can be expected anyway after they left their dysfunctional home after a blow up. I might be overdramatic to drive this point home, but I have also found myself a bit too quick to judge in some instances.
How students cope
Alcohol, excessive sexual relationships, gambling, violence, political extremism and defeatism are the compensation for this. In Maynooth, the town I currently live in, I observe that the little betting places like Ladbrokes & brucebetting are full of young males putting the little they have on the line. I also find that on certain nights, when exams have been done, the atmosphere is hostile late out, where it does not need to be after reaching a milestone in your life.
How I coped
In my case I travelled down the path of gambling and defeatism for my studies, while putting all of the power and passion I had into my internships at IBM. In the end this lead to me being one of the first of my year to get a job secured in Ireland, fulfilling my dream to work abroad. The troublesome outcome was that I wasted hours of my life in dingy rooms playing poker while not being in internships. If I am honest to myself these hours were wasted and wuld have been better invested into becoming a better student or fulfil my potential in some other way than placing bets on the two plus five cards in front of me. I took a turn for the better and now do not gamble anymore, but I wish I would have realised earlier.
There is a better way
The better way to release stress for any student who might be reading this is to get fit or to read books. Don’t get me wrong, have fun with your friends, experience silly things, test yourself sexually and what else you might see fit. Once this is all done und dusted, ask yourself honestly whether you are wasting away your lifetime going to the same bar each weekend, getting drunk with the same people in the same manner or spending your time in front of a PS4, watching porn for hours or gambling away in whatever way or form.
I quit poker for good when I met my future wife to be a better role model to my kids. I ran my first marathon in 2013 and got back to lifting in the gym in 2014, cutting back my alcohol consumption to close to none. My life has never been better. I encourage you to find better ways to release stress than I did and I hope the content provided on this website will help you do so.