Exercise 1

A. Listen to Sean (S), Lisa (L), and Victor (V) talk about stress. What is the main cause of stress for each person? Write the correct letter.

___ too little time

___ too much traffic

___ too many responsibilities

B. Listen again. What solution has each person found? Complete the chart.



1  Sean


2  Lisa


3  Victor


Answers & Audioscripts


too little time: L

too much traffic: V

too many responsibilities: S


1   Sean: He calls home and talks to his family.

2   Lisa: Her kids sleep over at her neighbor’s place, and she has a quiet dinner with her husband.

3   Victor: He leaves home before the traffic gets too heavy.


1   Sean

You know, I never appreciated all the things my mother did until I moved here to go to school. Since getting my own place, I’ve had to grocery shop, cook, clean, and do laundry. And I have to go to classes, research stuff, write essays, and study! Having all this stuff to do really makes me feel pressured. And when I feel pressured, I get stressed out, and then I have no energy to do anything. So, when I start feeling that way, I call home. I talk to my parents and have a few laughs with my kid brother. As soon as I start talking to my family, I feel better. It’s like magic.

2   Lisa

I just don’t think there are enough hours in the day. My husband and I both work, and we have two small children, so we’re on the go from the moment we get up until the time we go to bed. We love our jobs, and we adore our kids, but sometimes, enough is enough. Every so often, my husband and I just need a little downtime. If we don’t get any, we start to feel the stress and fatigue building up. After the last time it happened, I found the perfect solution. Now, before things get out of hand, I arrange for my children to sleep over at my neighbor’s place. It’s fine because Betty – that’s my neighbor’s name – Betty and I are good friends. And her kids and our kids are friends, too. Actually, the kids really like going over there. So anyway, after the kids leave, my husband and I have a quiet dinner and maybe watch a video or just listen to some music and talk. I can almost feel the stress melt away. Of course, Betty’s kids sleep over here sometimes, too.

3   Victor

Traffic stresses me out. My family lives in a quiet little suburb north of the city. That means I have to drive in for school and my part-time job. I used to start getting tense even before I got on the highway. Some rush-hour drivers can be very rude, and the traffic is usually bumper to bumper. You have to be alert because someone’s always trying to cut in front of you. Anyway, now I leave home before the traffic gets too heavy. I know I’ll be early, but as soon as I get on campus, I go to a little café I know and have a coffee and read the news or review for my classes. I’ve made friends with the other regulars, so now I’m always full of energy and ready to start the day.

Exercise 2

A. Listen to Kate and Sérgio talk about their recurring dreams. Whose dream do you think is scarier?

B. Listen again. What is each person’s dream? What do they think the dreams mean? Complete the chart.










Answers & Audioscripts

Kate: Her dream is that she’s back in high school and has to take a test she isn’t prepared for. She thinks it means that she is feeling overwhelmed or worried about something.

Sérgio: His dream is that he is in danger, and he can’t move or do anything to help himself or someone else. He thinks it means there’s something in his life he can’t control, but should be able to.


Kate:   Hey, Sérgio, do you ever have recurring dreams?

Sérgio:   Yeah, sure. Why, Kate?

Kate:   Well, I had one last night. I’m back in high school, and in my dream, the school looks mostly the same as it did, but much bigger. The weird thing is, although I’m 23 years old, I’m back in high school with all these 15-year-olds. It’s very embarrassing. No one seems to notice that I’m much older and shouldn’t be there in the first place. But still, it’s very uncomfortable. I keep thinking, “What am I doing here?” Well, I know it must be the end of the school year because everyone is talking about final exams. And that’s when it hits me that I’ve forgotten to go to math class all year, and there’s a big math test today.

Sérgio:   Oh, that’s terrible.

Kate:   Yeah, I’m totally unprepared. So I start to go to class, but then I realize I can’t find it. No matter how far, how many hallways, I just can’t find it. I know I’m late for class, and this really worries me. Finally, I wind up in my math class, but it’s almost over. So I’ve missed most of the test, and I think I’m going to fail or something. Basically, that’s the dream.

Sérgio:   That’s a bad one. Do you have that dream a lot?

Kate:   Sometimes. I guess it means that I’m worried or overwhelmed about something that is happening in my life.

Sérgio:   Yeah. I sometimes have this bad dream – I guess it’s really a nightmare. I’m in danger, but I’m not sure from what, and I can’t move or scream or anything. I can feel something coming closer and closer to me. You know, it’s really strange because usually in the dream I am exactly where I am in real life – like in my own bed, in my bedroom – and everything is very realistic. The only part that is dreamlike is that I can’t move. Sometimes I can’t even open my eyes, or I can only open one eye. Usually I have to alert someone, or possibly save someone, although the person often changes. Anyway, I can’t do anything because I can’t move. It’s really terrifying.

Kate:   Yeah, it sounds terrifying. So, what do you think it means?

Sérgio:   I’m not sure, but you know, I think the dream means that I’m feeling there’s something in my life that I can’t control, although I feel like I should be able to. Once I had the dream when one of my friends was very sick, and I just felt completely helpless. I hate feeling that way.

Kate:   Yeah, I know what you mean.

Exercise 3

A. Listen to Dr. Phillips talking about stress. What is the main topic of his presentation? Choose the correct answer.

a   the stress of living on a tight budget

b   college students and stress

c   stress and nutrition

B. Listen again. Choose the causes of stress that are mentioned.

1   not having enough money

2   jobs

3   noisy roommates

4   too much studying

5   not enough studying

6   missing family

Answers & Audioscripts


b college students and stress


1 not having enough money

2 jobs

4 too much studying

6 missing family


Good morning, everybody. Thank you for coming. I know that you’re all busy studying for finals and finishing your projects. I hope coming here so early this morning hasn’t been too stressful for you.

Today, I’ll be talking about the causes of stress for college students. Then I have some suggestions for dealing with stress. We’ll end with a short relaxation activity.

One cause of stress that I probably don’t need to tell you about is not having enough money. Money issues affect so much of your life as a student. Do you buy a book that you need, or do you reward yourself for all your hard work by going out for a good meal? Now, this is a pretty obvious one. Some of you may, in fact, be dealing with this already by working part-time.

This leads me to another major cause of stress for students – trying to juggle going to classes, keeping up with coursework, studying for exams, and working. Some of us also try to fit in a social life.

There are, of course, other causes of stress for students. You may be studying too much. If you’re a new student who is living away from home, you may be learning to live on your own and do things for yourself for the first time in your life. You may also be missing family and friends you left behind.

So, how do you handle stress? I’ve got a few suggestions. First, find a physical activity that you enjoy and make time for it. For example, playing tennis, going for a walk, swimming – anything that gets you moving. Secondly, organize your time and set reasonable goals that can be accomplished. Third, don’t make unnecessary appointments or agree to impossible deadlines. Learn to say “No.” Number four, make time to relax. Create opportunities when you can relax your entire mind and body. Time to just chill out. Five, eat breakfast. And try to space your meals evenly throughout the day. And don’t drink too much coffee. Finally, learn to develop a sense of humor about yourself and your problems.

Now, we’re going to try that relaxation activity . . .

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This