Graphic by Dakota Cox

Students experience extra stress without access to a classroom

Online learning amplifies student stress

Online learning amplifies student stress

Spring semester that consisted of conference calls with teachers while relaxing at home crazed returning students overwhelmed by large lesson plans and a full workload.

Nicole Matonak, a zoology major at Humboldt State University, manages a part-time job at the Marine Lab and five classes worth of homework.

“There are times where I wish I wasn’t working so I could focus on school stuff,” Matonak said. “It feels like there is not enough hours in the day for everything I need to do.”

Matonak’s methods of getting homework done on time revolve around scheduling out the week in advance. She’s made a habit of setting time aside to relax. Matonak is taking a yoga class this semester and has been trying to do other exercises to reduce stress.

“Lately when I feel like I am zoning out,” Matonak said. “I try to stretch and practice headstands and I feel like it gets my blood flowing.”

Matonak lives in Humboldt County and relies on surrounding outside nature to exercise or study without distractions.

“Charging my iPad, my notebook and my computer and taking it to the beach and studying in my car,” Matonak said. “I think that’s been the best way for me to work and not have distractions.”

Mikayla Nicholas is an art education major at HSU and is taking upper-level art courses.

“I knew that some of the art classes would be high-end, project-wise,” Nicholas said. “But I didn’t really expect the level to still be this high online.”

Being overwhelmed by the work in her classes and miscommunication with professors, Nicholas finds relaxation by baking bread.

“I enjoy baking and cooking as something to do that’s easy and stress-free,” Nicholas said.

For students overwhelmed by stress, Liza Auerbach Ph.D. has your back. Auerbach is a clinical psychologist with the HSU Counseling and Psychological Services program.

Auerbach suggests students learn their rhythms of productivity and dedicate that time to accomplishing tasks.

“I am a big believer in psychological inertia and momentum,” Auerbach said. “The longer that we are not doing something the harder it is to get started.”

Auerbach also recommends students falling behind in classes contact professors and be forward with concerns, instead of struggling alone or giving up altogether.

“If the stress of what’s going on in the world and in our own minds is interfering with our ability to perform,” Auerbach said. “Reach out and let them know.”

Students struggling can also call CAPS during business hours to schedule a one on one therapy session, included in the cost of your student fees.

CAPS is open by phone from 8:30 a.m – noon and 1:00 p.m-4:30 p.m.

707-826-3236 or

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