Is There an Epidemic of Stress Among College Students?
College students today are under enormous stress to maintain good grades, keep scholarships, work, and get along with peers socially. This has lead many young men and women to abuse ADHD drugs, energy drinks, and other stimulants to cope with exams and other pressures, according to Science Daily. These practices can lead to serious health problems like depression, hypertension, and stroke.
Drinking among college students as a way to socialize and relieve stress often leads to problems. College students face a number of additional stress factors like family relationships, dating, academics, finances, and health. Sometimes prescriptions drugs are abused because college students share them with friends.
Statistics from the infographic below show Millennials (18 to 33 years old) are tied with Gen-Xers (34 to 47 years old) for the highest stress levels of the past four generations. Millennials, especially those in college, or just out, probably have the highest levels because of job and financial security.
To view this infographic in full size, visit College Degree Search.
On the positive side, there are many ways to deal with stress, and most of them are easy to do. For one, getting enough sleep is crucial for combating stress. College students are notorious for keeping long hours, staying up late, and getting up early for classes. Putting in only few hours of sleep once in a while isn’t too bad, but when it becomes a regular habit, it can be problematic.
Other ways of dealing with stress include:
- Get regular exercise
- Eat healthy meals
- Relax, meditate, or do yoga
- Practice Mindfulness
- Take a break and socialize
Note that “taking a break to socialize” here doesn’t imply jumping on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media time traps. Socializing is meant as putting down the phone or digital device and actually talking to friends or hanging out face-to-face – not over the internet.
Social media is great for many things, but it’s not as social as most people think and it can lead to isolation, which adds to anxiety and depression, if abused.
Being in school, worrying about grades, and the uncertainty of financial stability during and after college are major stress points for everyone. No person is immune from these concerns, but taking some positive steps can reduce the levels of stress. Don’t cave in to the pressures and look for a way out using shortcuts or negative vices for the sake of simple relief.
While college can be stressful at times, it should be one of the happiest and most enlightening experiences for young adults. Take care to recognize the stressful times, but don’t dwell on them. Use the years in college to branch out and expand horizons. The time there won’t last forever, so embrace it, and take advantage of everything it has to offer, including the good and bad.
The future hasn’t happened yet, and worrying about it won’t change the outcome. Live in the present moment and don’t forget to breathe.