College student stress and it is caused by a number of pressures and stressors that affect a student’s performance and social life.
Unless you have experienced college stress personally, you can’t know the intensity of the pressures put upon college students.
Freshmen may be away from home for the first time. Students suddenly have work loads greater than their wildest dreams. And students, especially quiet ones, miss their old friends and family support system. Stress at college remains high for upperclassmen, as well.
What Causes College Student Stress?
Although it might be nice to try to put the responsibility on someone else (like your professors or your roommate), stress at college is caused by a number of factors.
Here are just some of them.
- Homesickness – Yes, even young adults can be homesick for those they love, or even their favorite places or restaurants. Living away from home, most college students also experience the loss of their support system. It can take quite a few weeks for many students–to make new friends and develop a strong support system at college.
- Workload – While most students who attend college are good students already, many have never experienced the amount of work expected. It may seem that every professor thinks he or she is the only teacher in the school–and each piles on the workload accordingly! Learning how to juggle all the assignments and still find time for themselves, is a challenge for most students.
- Time Pressure – For the first time, many college students have to manage their own time–totally. No one will call them to dinner or remind them to get their homework done. No one will be scheduling classes for them, or telling them when to do things (or not to do things). Time management is completely open-ended–and that becomes very difficult for many…
- Peer Pressure – Temptations are great when you are at college. If everyone on your floor is going out for pizza, you want to go too. Even if you know that you have assignments that must be completed by tomorrow! It’s difficult to resist peer pressure, and, when you don’t resist, you feel guilty!
- Roommate Problems – Freshmen don’t usually get to choose their first roommates. And, even if you do choose a roommate, there is no guarantee that you will get along. Do you have the same values, or are there clashes? Have you agreed on what you’ll do if one of you wants to have an overnight guest? Or will the other roommate simply be locked out of the room? You can learn how to deal with difficult people!
- Social Anxiety – Were you shy before you came to college? College students’ stress can be made worse by fear of meeting new people. You are meeting others every single day. And if you are frightened to do so, you can feel pretty anxious–even on a GOOD day!
- Test Taking Anxiety – Do you get all tied up in knots when you are having an exam? College tests seem SO important. Even if you’re prepared, you are probably experiencing pre-test jitters!
As you can see, there are many reasons why college student stress is an issue. The solution is fairly simple. A good stress management program, good time management and a positive attitude will go a long way toward reducing college student stress.
Many of us have survived college, even with all the stress and anxiety. You can, too. But you’ll need to get organized, put some stress management plans in place, and manage your time wisely.
Then you will be able to enjoy your college years, do well academically and graduate–knowing that you did the best you could….