College Students and Stress Free Essay Example (2023)


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High school students mostly share a common goal of being out of high school. Students are told by relatives and friends that college will be “the time of your life” and told glorious stories of fun times and adventures. What students often are not told is how draining and stressful college can be most of the time. College students undergo tremendous amounts of stress whether the goal is to become a doctor, teacher, coach, or any other profession. Placing the stress on themselves to either keep up their reputation or surpass a friends’ GPA can cause a student to become their own worst enemy.

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College can also be stressful financially. Some students work multiple jobs to pay tuition or have to do a work study to barely get by. Most students starting college are not aware of what is in store for them in the future mentally or financially. College is a reality check that not only makes you question your career path, but also sometimes strains your mental health.

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Rather than being able to have fun and be remotely carefree in college, students constantly have to keep track of their daily exams, homework, and emails. The slightest mix up in deadlines for assignments could drop a students’ grade and cause their GPA to suffer tremendously. Burwell (2018) reports in her study that 44 percent of college students stated they were fine, while 39 percent stated they had symptoms of anxiety and depression. Those numbers are alarming due to the percentage of suicidal tendencies rising from a mere 6 percent to 11 percent in only ten years, and the percentage of students going to therapy starting at 13 percent and jumping to 24 percent in ten years (Burwell, 2018, p.

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150). As years go by those percentages of suicidal thoughts should go down or remain at a constant, but as shown in the article it is evident they will only continue to rise. Some of these percentages are caused by students longing to gain parents approval or surpass them. Burwell states, “…the likelihood that a child will earn more than his or her parents has dropped from 90 percent to 50 percent over the past century,” (2018, p.152). Students are spending much more time worrying about excelling and keeping up appearances which results in wearing themselves out mentally. The feeling of always needing to surpass a family member, or a friend, can definitely be exhausting and a rather large factor for stress.

Ultimately, this generation of college students has many factors of stress to drain them mentally and cause the feeling of failure. College students have many stressors such as large academic demands, being somewhere new, possible family problems, social life fluctuations, and new temptations (Bhujade, 2017, p.748). Everyone adapts differently and has their own reasons for being stressed, and many students encounter general stress, depression, problems with eating, and so much more (Bhujade, 2017, p.749). Bhujade (2017) states that a study showed that stress was the most important health problem in college students over many concerning topics such as cancer or body image. Being that cancer can be a deadly disease, it is crazy to think that most college students are worried about anything from grades to social status over a dangerous illness. Most students are constantly in an anxious state, and there is an endless list of topics their worries can come from. Stress has a different definition to many people, but most college students can agree that stress is defined as “college”. Although you are making memories and new friends while being in college, classes that you could be studying or doing homework for is in the back of your mind constantly while you are trying to enjoy yourself. Often students do not make the grade that they want or need, which can often raise levels of stress, anxiety, and other problems one can be suffering from throughout college. For years, college is a students’ main priority, and takes control over their lives causing a strain on their mental health.

Testing poorly can cause a number of mental health issues on an already fragile minded college student. Making a below average test score lowers your GPA, causing a state of sadness and depression-like symptoms in a student. “It is a growing concern among educators that some college students continue to perform poorly in their tests and exams and how it takes a toll on their mental health,” (Ahmed & Julius, 2015, p.367). Students who test poorly should have resources available to get help, but sometimes are too embarrassed to say anything. Getting a bad grade when fellow classmates all passed can result in extreme embarrassment and lead to self-shame. An article states that resilience helps at risk students and all other students as well (Ahmed & Julius, 2015, p.367). Being resilient helps confidence and helps students to avoid depression and anxiety. Resilience improves mental health and also will help a students’ GPA in the long run. Ahmed and Julius stated that higher resiliency levels cause a higher GPA (Ahmed & Julius, 2015). In summary, being resilient will decrease the likelihood of stress on a college student and will help improve mental health.

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College students undergo many stressors, and often have undiagnosed mental illnesses such as general anxiety, constant stress, and depression. Keeping track of classes and schedules is just another part of the college life that one has to do daily but is often hard for students to adjust to. Academic demands, adjusting to a new environment, and many different temptations such as parties can cause a student to question their values and beliefs that also cause high stress for a college student. College students can help lessen the severity of their anxiety by trying to be resilient and practicing it almost like a newfound religion. Stress is inevitable but is mainly amplified for college students. Trying to keep up expectations or surpass fellow students can cause a great amount of stress on anybody. Students should practice being resilient and see a therapist to learn new coping mechanisms for stress if levels of worry continue to rise.


  1. Ahmed, Z., & Julius, S. H. (2015). Academic performance, resilience, depression, anxiety and
  2. stress among women college students. Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, 6(4), p. 367-370. Retrieved October 29, 2018, from EBSCOhost database.
  3. Bhujade, V. M. (2017). Depression, anxiety, and academic stress among college students: A brief review. Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing, 8(7), p. 748-751. Retrieved October 29, 2018, from EBSCOhost database.
  4. Burwell, Sylvia Mathews (2018). Generation stress: The mental health crisis on campus. Foreign Affairs, 97(6), p. 150-157. Retrieved October 29, 2018, from EBSCOhost database.


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