The effects of stress on college students are becoming increasingly overwhelming. According to a recent survey, with college-specific stressors multiplied by the pandemic, nine out of 10 students believe there is a mental health crisis on college campuses.
Each semester brings new challenges and uncertainties with academic demands. The anxiety of going back to college during the pandemic has turned into mid-term stress, and now, with the end of the school year approaching, exam stress has also increased. How can young adults learn how to deal with college stress and see a healthy balance between achievement and fitness?
Is College More Stressful Than High School?
College and stress go hand in hand. “I’m struggling in college” is one of the most frequent problems reported by young adults seeking mental health help. Why is college so stressful? Essentially, college students are striving to perform to the best of their potential academically and socially while living in an environment that is not conducive to self-care. For most college students, eating well, staying physically active, and getting enough sleep—young adults fall far short of the three pillar-to-do lists of mental health.
The effects of stress can be particularly challenging. It’s a significant change from an experienced high school senior to a novice with no idea how things work or find their way around campus. Being away from family (often for the first time) and making new friends can be scary. The HBO show The Sex Lives of College Girls is a comedy. Still, it very accurately demonstrates how hard it is to navigate the excitement of college independence and new relationships while trying to focus on academics and career plans.
Pandemic-Related Effects of Stress on College Students
Young adults have struggled more than any other age group with the stresses created by the pandemic — including loneliness and isolation, the negative impact on academics, and the brakes on starting more independent lives. While these effects of stress on college students were particularly acute during the first year of the pandemic, mental health effects have not diminished over time. According to a January 2022 survey by TimelyMD, 70 percent of college students were experiencing distress or anxiety due to the Omicron increase, with a high-stress level among female and non-binary students. And nearly three-quarters of college students were feeling the same or even more stressed than they did in the previous year.
The American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2022 Stress in America report found similar statistics on young adults and stress. Adults aged 18-25 had the highest average stress level — a score of 5.8 out of 10, with 10 being “a great deal of stress.” More than 60 percent of young adults said they had experienced the pandemic as a daily stressor. And 77 percent agreed that the pandemic has “stolen major moments of life that they will never get back.” “
How to Deal with College Stress: 5 Coping Skills for Young Adults
These evidence-based strategies can help counteract the effects of stress on college students.
Design a self-care plan
To support general health and relieve signs of academic stress, students can work with family, mentors, or therapists to plan to stay mentally and physically healthy. The plan should reflect the specific needs of the young adult and what they find most helpful. This may include setting goals for sleep, nutrition, exercise, and limits to substance use. Accessing college counseling resources can also be part of the plan. Students can build in time for creative outlets or other activities. Ideally, this can change in acute effects of stress rather than falling back on unhealthy coping mechanisms such as the overuse of substances or social media.
College students often find that they are busier in high school than ever and need practical tools to help map their time and priorities. It may sound simple, but it can make a significant positive difference in reducing the effects of stress on college students. The college’s academic support center can provide options for better organization. Even a simple Excel sheet to keep track of everything can reduce the effects of stress on students – and social anxiety.
Mindfulness exercises like meditation, yoga, and breath awareness reduce stress. These exercises help transform the nervous system from a fight-or-flight response to a relaxation response. Many colleges offer yoga and meditation classes. In addition, college students can reduce exam stress and other moments of intense stress by using breathing exercises.
Build connections with others
Several studies have shown that social relationships improve mental and physical health. The more support we have, the more resilient we will be to stress. Colleges offer many ways to build trusting and authentic connections, including support groups, clubs, performance circles, and affinity groups.
Remember why you’re there.
Reconnecting with your motivation is one of the most powerful ways students can reduce the anxiety of going back to college or being overwhelmed in college. What skills and strengths do they want to develop? What experience do they want to have? Are they clear about what they want to take from their time in college? Remembering their core motivation and goals can reduce stress on college students and help them move forward with hope and energy.
We have mentioned all the major effects of stress on college students. We also mentioned all the key points one should follow to combat stress. So we hope that our blog becomes helpful for you to understand all the reasons behind the stress of college students, along with also getting a better understanding of the negative effects of too much stress on students’ life. But still, if you find any confusion regarding any of the academic problems, then don’t feel any hesitation in contacting us anytime at AustralianAssigment.com.
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What are the five signs and effects of stress for a college student?
Signs of academic stress and burnout
- Feeling anxious and anxious all the time.
- Fatigue and lack of energy.
- Abdominal pain and headache.
- Chest pain and shortness of breath.
- I am avoiding or neglecting academics.
- I was feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.
- I was having negative thoughts.
- I am withdrawing from peers and social activities.
How does stress effects students’ performance?
Excessive stress can lead to health problems such as fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, and gastrointestinal issues. Academic stress has been linked to various adverse effects, including poor health, anxiety, depression, and poor academic performance.