College & Stress
Stress is a normal part of life, especially during periods of transition and uncertainty. But the transition to college can be stressful for a host of reasons. The recent American College Health Association National College Health Assessment showed stress, more than physical illness, lack of sleep or concern for friend or family, was the single biggest hindrance to academic performance at college.
Sometimes parents and other adults tend to idealize their college experience and remember it as an idyllic time when they had few worries or responsibilities. But today’s college students face a barrage of pressures: greater academic demands, exposure to new people and temptations, the prospect of life after college, and more. Parents should recognize that, while a certain level of stress is healthy and can be motivating, excessive stress can cause real problems.
Common College Student Stressors:
Students struggling with their emotional health may find it difficult to navigate the stresses and challenges of college. Click here to learn the signs of excessive stress.
- Continual and mounting academic demands
- Trying to make friends
- Being on one’s own in a new environment
- Relationship issues, including dating and changes in family relationships
- Financial responsibilities
- Exposure to new people, ideas, and temptations
- Awareness of one’s sexual identity and orientation
Motivating or Limiting?
Fortunately, the majority of stress your child will experience will be helpful and stimulating. Experts agree that, if balanced correctly, stress can be a positive element that increases our self-awareness and productivity. While some sources of stress cannot be avoided, others can be prevented or diminished. Discuss with your child how to tell the difference so that unnecessary stressors can be minimized.
- College & Stress
- Connecting Your Child with Mental Health Resources on Campus
- Contact Information Every Parent Should Know
- Finding the Right Off-Campus Mental Health Professional
- Four Things Every Parent Must Know About Emotional Health
- If Your Child is Worried About a Friend
- Managing Stress
- Stress Check - Signs of a Problem
- What to Do When Your Student is Struggling