How to Reduce Stress on Campus? Art Could be Your Solution…

By: Dyanne M. Rivera Ocasio

Format: Color

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.

Nine of every ten students of the University of Puerto Rico: Mayaguez Campus suffers of several stress attacks. In order to decrease academic stress, NSPE and a few students talk about art as a tool for expression and relaxation.

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.

Students proudly show their paintings after three hours of work with NSPE and Nicolai in "ExpressARTE". This awesome activity gives students the opportunity of relaxing and express themselves while painting and having fun.

“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  –.

Works Cited:

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.





  1. karladj2 said,

    April 13, 2012 at 12:00 am04

    Very well explained. I love how you made the host feel like one of us. It’s interesting how art can be like a therapy for many students as a stress releaver.

  2. verorios1 said,

    April 14, 2012 at 12:00 am04

    Its very interesting. Art is always being interesting and stress relieving for people and i like the idea.

  3. marie0825 said,

    April 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm04

    Great feature! Very interesting and instructive .. I love the arts

  4. May 22, 2012 at 12:00 am05

    I am a not a artisan but, this can be a kind of therapy for people for reducing stress. A friend of mine when he is stressed, he enters to his room and start to draw characters and makes stories. Great feature story and giving of details.

  5. May 29, 2012 at 12:00 am05

    […] 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.  To read more click here. […]

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