49% of college students experience symptoms of depression
73% of students who suffer from a mental illness don't seek help
Stress In College
Grades and Academics
When most people think about college stressors, grades and how a student is doing academically comes to mind first. While it's not the only reason college students are stressed, it is a big one. The feelings of failure after doing bad on an exam mixed with nervousness and feeling unprepared for exams, projects, and other college events can stress a student out and cause anxiety. Grades may affect how a student views themselves and may affect scholarships and financial aid, so students tend to stress out, more so toward the end of the semester when exams and finals are happening.
Self Esteem and Loneliness
Sadly, a large portion of college students struggle with self esteem. Social media can be toxic for many people today and we often compare ourselves to what we think is 'perfect' on social media, when in reality, it's not. Low self esteem can cause stress and loneliness. Feeling lonely in college is more normal than you may think, despite being surrounded by other people often. Those that have low self esteem typically feel lonely and that usually involves added stress levels. Self esteem and body image issues also go hand in hand and weigh heavy on a college student.
Fitting In and Meeting People
Students often face the pressure of fitting in with their peers in a new setting, which can cause stress and trigger anxiety. They may feel disconnected from their old friends and struggle to form new friendships in an unfamiliar environment. This lack of social support may also contribute to depression and loss of interest in activities. Meeting new people can be scary, but for college students, they have to meet an entirely new community, while doing it in a new environment, and for many, miles away from their home and where they grew up and feel comfortable.
Increased responsibility, having to do things more independently, increased task of managing time properly, not taking breaks for self care, and irregular eating and sleep patterns are all additional factors in college stress. College is a very fun, new experience for millions of people each year, but it's okay to feel stressed and anxious over it. It's completely normal. It's a new experience and adventure for you and having some nerves is not out of the ordinary. It's very important to take time for yourself and focus some energy and love onto you and your growth. Click here to learn more about self esteem. >
Types of Stress in College Students
Stress About Time
This type of stress is often formed over concerns about time. Having enough time to study, hang out with friends, try new things, and attend classes all can add stress onto a college student.
This type of stress is usually felt with nervousness about the future, but can also happen throughout college and even before. High school seniors often feel anticipation stress for what is to come next in their life.
Stress About Situations
Situational stress tends to be sudden and occurs after a specific event, such as after a conflict or fight. This stress usually happens quickly and may be uncontrollable.
Stress About Encounters
Encounter stress typically involves stressing over meeting new people, having interactions with others, and various other person to person interactions. People that suffer from this stress may have social anxiety and are more inclined to be introverted.
Stress For First Year College Students
For first year college freshman, this new experience can be even more nerve-racking and scary. Students are typically just out of high school and have just went through a very anxiety driven event in graduating, figuring out what to do, and finding a school to attend. As they start college, students typically don't understand how independent it can be as they begin. A new living environment, sometimes with other people, the first time living away from family, difficulty making decisions independently, being required to manage sleep and eating on their own, balancing finances, and worrying about meeting people, starting classes, and making friends are all stressors for a first year college freshman. The availability of drugs, alcohol, parties, and having sexual freedom can also add into the stress of college students.
College and Bullying
Statistics show that most bullying occurs within middle and high school, but the unfortunate truth is that college bullying also exists. In fact, some studies show that more
than 25% of college students have said that they have witnessed
some form of bullying among college students while on campus. Statistics on cyberbullying are even higher. We think it's important to spend time focusing on college bullying as many people assume bullying is over after k-12 schooling. Also concerning, over 15% of college students say they have been bullied by a teacher or professor. By the time students get to college, many people figure they shouldn't have to learn how to deal with bullies at school. But as noted above, the sad reality is that bullying doesn't necessarily end at a students' high school graduation.
Instructor on student bullying is more common than you may think and can have long lasting mental health damages. It's necessary to report all bullying to college officials, even if the bullying is a school staff member or administrator.