A recent study by CNBC shows that at least 35% of college freshman struggle with mental health issues. Another study shows that almost 55% of college freshman are taking medication for anxiety or depression after attending college. Even though they are warned about the hardships of college in high school, most college freshman come in unprepared, especially since high school doesn’t prepare students effectively for the hardships in college. They are told, “college will be harder” or “in college, your professors won’t care,” but they are not taught what to expect.
Deadlines are a pressing issue in college today. It is one of the main causes of mental health issues in college students. Knowing you have three to four things due in the next few days can cause students to become discouraged and procrastinate till the very last minute. College is very different in the way professors handle deadlines. High school is less stressful when dealing with deadlines because teachers will accept late work, possibly taking a few points off. But, college is a lot stricter. Most professors refuse to accept any late work at all, causing large amounts of stress for the students to get the work done, regardless of how damaging it is mentally.
The standard of living today is hundreds of dollars more than it was during the late 80s to early 90s, making it harder for students to pay bills and college tuition without student loans. Also, most jobs that don’t require a certification or degree of some sort do not pay well, creating another financial issue. With either of these problems, it’s no wonder why some students drop out of college. A lot of students don’t want to take out student loans because they acquire interest over the years and require a lot of time and money out of their post-college careers. Money issues are a big problem that contributes tremendously to the stress of college students.
College also requires dedication, which can leave students stressed about balancing their extracurricular activities, work, academics and family life. In order to truly do well in college, you must give academics your undivided attention every day. Most students don’t have time for friends or family when they are trying to excel in school. They usually push off spending time at home with their family members or say no to outings with friends to work on assignments that will be due over the next few days, trying to prevent more stress. Sometimes, it does help relieve stress to do all of their work a few days before the deadline; however, it isn’t mentally healthy for students to put off social interaction either.
The bottom line is: students need to relax. College can make students feel like the world is on their shoulders and they’re bearing more weight every day. Everyone needs a day to do what calms them, whether that be reading, binge-watching or maybe just taking a walk in the park. Most college students are all about work and don’t have the luxury of taking a day all for themselves to improve their mentality. Honestly, if you’re not mentally healthy, you’re most likely not going to do well with your academic studies either. Use your attendance wisely and if you need it, take a “me day” to reconnect with friends and family. Doing this once in a while is proven to help decrease depression and anxiety in students attending college.