By: Dyanne M. Rivera Ocasio
March 21 2012
MAYAGUEZ, PUERTO RICO – “Being in the UPRM is not an easy job; it is so stressful,” said Angelica Arroyo, sophomore student of Political Science in the UPRM worriedly while thinking about all of her homework.
The vast majority of the student community of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (UPRM) have suffered at some point in their careers lack of communication and identity among other difficult issues. However, one of the most serious problems affecting students nowadays is the academic stress due to the overwork they confront daily.
Academic stress is a complex phenomenon that involves consideration of interrelated variables, such as academic stressors, subjective experience stress, academic stress moderators and finally, the effects of academic stress. According to Misra & McKean, “All these factors appear in the same organizational environment: The University,”. In other words, academic stress will depend on multiple factors related to the type and amount of work to be done in a stipulated period of time.
The question that most of the students of the UPRM ask every day is: How does one dramatically reduce academic stress? According to The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) of the UPRM, art is one of the greatest tools people have to reduce stress while expressing themselves.
In order to reduce academic stress and share with the University community the power of art, the NSPE of the UPRM conducted the event “ExpressARTE,” during the peaceful night of March 13, 2012. The activity took place ot the 3rd floor of the Student Center of the UPRM and delights students with the presence of the talented contemporary Puerto Rican artist Miguel Nicolas – better known artistically as “Nicolai”- who explained deeply the concept of art and its benefits.
Art is one of those tricky words that you think you can define until you actually try to do it. While Merriam Webster dictionary defines art as “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination, especially in the production of aesthetic objects,” Nicolai define art as an unspoken language. However, most sources agree that what is considered to be art “is a work done by an ‘artist’, with the purpose of interpreting or expressing any particular situation,” and which also allow people to communicate among themselves.
Art is everywhere. Buildings, clothes, jewelry and fashion are extremely related to art. This is due to all those things being made by artists to express something. Art is also very present in students’ lives, however, they really do not notice it. “Sometimes, students are so overwhelmed with daily work and exams that they unconsciously use art as an escape,” said Nicolai humorously, showing a college notebook full of drawings.
Art is closer to students than they think it is and often turns out to be the easiest way students have to reveal their most intimate desires and to feel free and relax in the middle of stress that the University causes.
“Definitely, since I started drawing and painting continuously my stress level has decreased noticeably and I’ve been able to express myself more comfortable” said firmly Angelica Arroyo while she participates in “ExpressARTE” in company of some friends.
Just like Angelica, if you feel stress because you are full of work or just in need of a moment of peace, remember art can be your best and most accessible solution.
“With just a paper and a pencil people can do possible the impossible” – Nicolai –.
Arroyo, Angelica. Personal Interview. 13 March 2012.
“Art”. Merriam Webster Dictionary. 2012. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, Inc. Print.
Nicolas, Miguel J. Personal Interview. 13 March 2012.
Misra, R. y McKean, M. (2006).College’ Students Academic Stress and Its Relation to their
Anxiety, Time Management, and Leisure Satisfaction. American Journal of Health Studies. Silver Spring: Expert Health Data System, Inc. Print.