In today’s competitive world, high achieving youth begin college preparations as early as middle school (often earlier). Everything they do, from sports to community service, is informed by how it will make them look on college applications. By the time these students arrive at college they are anxious, overworked, and tired.
Add the new pressures associated with increased independence, a new social scene, and a challenging course load, and you get the modern phenomenon of “freshman burnout”.
One out of three college students across the United States drops out after their freshman year. While anxiety is not the sole cause of this high drop out rate, it is a common factor. Studies show that if a student who withdrew from school struggled with a mental health issue, they usually withdrew because of that mental health issue.
Anxiety is the most reported mental health issue on college campuses. In the past 12 months:
- More than half of college students reported feeling “overwhelmed” by their responsibilities.
- Eighty percent of college students reported that they frequently (or sometimes) experienced daily stress.
- Twenty one percent of college students reported that anxiety had severely affected their academic performance.
- Fourteen percent of college students had been diagnosed or treated for anxiety disorders– more than were treated for depression or any other mental health disorder.
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College is stressful and many students suffer from moderate to severe anxiety. But college does not have to be a cause of severe stress. Anxiety is manageable. Developing a healthy daily routine, getting outside, exercising, and talking with understanding friends and family can help. If the anxiety persists, seek help from a professional. Experiencing persistent, severe anxiety could be indicative of an anxiety disorder.
There are many options for college students struggling to manage anxiety. Some colleges offer free counseling sessions through mental health services departments. Others might refer students to off campus health care providers. Remember, there is no shame in asking for help.
If you want more information on anxiety and how to manage it, download our free white paper- “Young Adult Anxiety”.
This white paper was sponsored by Pure Life, a research-based Wilderness Adventure Therapy program for young adults, located in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Pure Life offers safe, effective, and clinically-sophisticated treatment options for young adults.