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Liliana Cruz

August 6, 2017

Bill Moore

Health Education 044

Project 3: Case Study Analysis

Stress and anxiety form a constant part of a college students’ life. Personal areas of a

student’s life like relationships, self-esteem, health (mental and physical), and more importantly,

the academic aspect of their lives, are greatly affected by stress and anxiety. In this case study,

we analyze Katya’s experience. Katya is currently a freshman who obtains a 3.0 GPA, and is

highly disciplined when it comes to studying. However, Katya experiences feelings of anxiety

and self-doubt prior to exams. Lately, she has been under pressure due to the end of the semester

rapidly approaching, and a chemistry exam she must pass to keep her scholarship. As a result,

Katya’s anxiety has increased, and in fact, she experienced a panic attack during her last study


As a college graduate, I can highly relate to Katya’s experience. I recall being extremely

anxious and stressed during my first year of college. I entered university straight out of high

school, and the entire experience felt very overwhelming. From registering for classes that were

already full, training myself to be a disciplined undergrad, constant test taking, sleepless nights,

and many other tasks, I found myself experiencing intense stress. Fortunately, I managed to cope

with the stress and anxiety throughout the rest of my undergrad career, and never experienced

severe anxiety symptoms like panic attacks. I believe what helped me the most, was the

realization that I was not alone and the belief in myself that I was capable of succeeding in my
college journey. Self-efficacy is defined as one’s own belief in one’s ability to succeed in

specific situations or accomplish a task. A person’s sense of self-efficacy can highly impact how

they approach challenges, tasks, and goals.

In Katya’s situation, it is clear that she lacks self-efficacy and also needs to seek

professional health for the symptoms she is experiencing. Perhaps one of the best ways to cope

through anxiety and stress, is to have a source of support. In our textbook, Health: The Basics,

the writers recommend to build a network of support through loved ones. Family, friends,

partners, or even a counselor on campus, can be an appropriate source of support when dealing

with stress. College campuses, now more than ever, have increased and improved their resources

for stress management. Katya seems to spend most of her time studying, which is great, but

overloading her brain can also affect her performance. In my experience, I learned the

importance, and the benefits, of taking breaks while studying. Eating a healthy snack, meditation,

going for a walk, listening to some music, and spending time with a friend, are all good activities

to do while you take a break from the books. Getting appropriate sleep is also very important to

recharge your brain for the next day.

In the article, College Students and the Web of Anxiety (Twenge, 2001), the author

mentions, and emphasizes, the importance of recurring to a professional counselor to help reduce

anxiety. Professional counselors are trained to help the student by listening and allowing them to

broaden their perspective on academic goals, like Katya’s need to pass her chemistry test for a

scholarship. A counselor can help build a higher sense of self-efficacy in Katya, and therefore,

allow her to perform well on her test. Another benefit of seeking a counselor’s help, is the

methods they can implement into a students life, like Katya, to help keep panic disorders at bay.
Today, we can find many students experiencing the same situation as Katya. It is very

common, and unfortunately, stress management isn’t something we learn in grade school. We

tend to learn how to cope with stress through the years and through real life experiences. Some

people are good at it, and others have a harder time dealing with it. Setting realistic expectations

is a good way to approach any challenge, task, or goal. Knowing what you are capable of, and

what you are not, is key to setting the bar for yourself. More importantly, having self-efficacy is

absolutely necessary to succeed in everything you set yourself to do. We may not be able to

eliminate stress and feelings of anxiety entirely, but we can make changes to help lessen the

stresses of our lives as college students.

Donatelle, R. (2011). Health: The Basics 10th Edition. Benjamin Cummings.

Twenge, Jean M. "College Students and the Web of Anxiety." The Chronicle of Higher

Education, vol. 47, no. 44, 2001, pp. 014, Education Collection; ProQuest Central,