Today, there are numerous misconceptions about stress. Most people perceive stress as negative emotional state whereas some consider it to be something that happens to us when we are anxious. However, the real meaning of stress is that it is a response to a situation. Stress is biological in nature and helps people to deal with rapid changes in their life. People experience stress on a daily basis. The most common stress is related to life events and hassles. Stress is mainly associated with anxiety and depression. It affects individual’s performance as one cannot think clearly. If not well managed, stress can compromise individual’s health. It causes irritability, and often leads to insomnia. Different people react differently to stressful situations. Some people develop physical or psychological problems while others can cope without difficulties. Not only does stress has adverse effects on individuals, but also positive effects and can create optimistic feelings.
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Last year, I left my hometown and went to Vienna. It was not an easy experience to leave my family and come to a foreign city. I did not know what I will find in Vienna. Hence, I was anxious and stressed since I had never been to Vienna before. The idea that I was to shift from a known to an unknown destination made me develop stress. Like any other student, I did not know if I would cope with a new system of education. Besides, I moved to Vienna at a time when students were about to start their exams. Hence, I had a lot of assignments to submit within short deadlines. Besides, it was hard to relate to other students due to cultural and language barriers. I had no one to keep me company.
In Vienna, I met people with strange characters and personalities. Unlike in some cities where residents help foreigners to settle down, many residents in Vienna took advantage of my naivety. For instance, tax drivers could charge me highly for short distances because I was not familiar with the city. Moreover, some students mocked me because I always looked confused. It became hard for me to foster new relationships because I could not tell the students that were willing to assist. In the evenings, I could recall the things we use to do with my friends back at home and wished that they were around. It was hard for me to go out and grab a drink or relax as I was not familiar with the place. Besides, I did not want to come across some boys who were fond of bullying new students. I decided to keep everything to myself because I had no one to tell my problems. At times, I regretted going to Vienna.
The first four months were too costly for me. I spend a lot of money because I was not familiar with shopping malls that sold items at lower prices. I used to enter into any mall and purchase goods without considering their prices. Within a short period, I had run out of money and had to call my parents for assistance. It was hard for me to concentrate in class, and this affected my performance. Besides, it was hard to access the majority of class notes because I reported late. I had to rely on the internet and library, which did not help since it was hard to follow the course outline. Eventually, I had to liaise with lecturers to get the notes.
One day, I decided that it was time to part ways with my stressful life and live like any other student. I shared a hostel with two students. Hence, I decided to establish a rapport with them. Later, they turned out to be helpful. They enlightened me about cheap malls, and at times, they volunteered to take me around the city. With time, I became familiar with the city and all shopping malls. I stopped buying goods from expensive malls, and this helped me to save a significant amount of money. In addition, I started to learn the local culture and language to assist me interact with people. After two months, I could communicate and express myself without difficulties. The taxi drivers could no longer exploit me since they realized that I knew the cost of traveling from one location to another.
To facilitate my upkeep, I decided to look for a part-time job within my neighborhood. One family agreed to offer me a job to coach their children in the evening and during the weekends. Even though they did not pay a lot of money, I was able to meet the majority of daily needs and relieved my parents. Besides, the children helped me to learn a lot about Vienna. To catch up with the rest of the class, I requested one of the students to assist me in revision. Within three weeks, I was able to catch up with the class.