How College Students are Affected by Anxiety

Common Challenges Faced by College Students

Attending college is always an exciting time in one’s life, but it is also a major transition to go through. For most, college is the first time an adolescent or young adult will experience life on their own.  They will be responsible for themselves and will be going through many changes that can sometimes be overwhelming. It is not uncommon for college students to experience anxiety. The anxiety can be due to a number of challenges students encounter, like:

  • Stress about living away from home
  • Concern about making friends
  • Adjusting to a new lifestyle.
  • Pressure regarding academic performance,
  • Decisions to make for the future, and
  • Building career skills to use after graduating

The First Year Away at College

In the beginning of a college career one faces many different challenges. To begin, a student will likely transition from living at home with parents and the privacy of a bedroom to a dorm room with a roommate and limited contact and support from family and friends from home. This alone can be stressful as the student is placed in an unfamiliar setting and begin to adapt to their new environment and peers. Such changes can cause stress as they are exposed to different kinds of lifestyles, beliefs, cultures, and habits of roommates and dorm mates. The student also must learn how to share community spaces, like bathrooms, showers, and study spaces, while adjusting to increased workloads and a different way of learning and working from grade school. This all can be overwhelming, and the limited support received from loved ones can make a student feel alone and anxious.

Anxiety About Life After College

Those who are in their later years of college also face challenges. As one progresses in their college career and learn more about who they are and what they want to do in life, they are confronted with many difficult decisions to make. Most of the decisions college students make will set the path for their future. This is a lot of pressure for one person to handle, and while the students may work hard to succeed in college, the uncertainty of the future can cause a great deal of anxiety.

Where to Find Help with Anxiety in College

Facing anxiety, especially for the first time, is scary, but you are not alone. Most college students have experienced or are experiencing the same stressors and anxious feelings as you are, so there is no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed of your symptoms. Whether it is anxiety about adjusting to college life, academic anxiety, or even anxiety about socializing and interpersonal relationships, college is a place where it is not uncommon to experience anxious feelings at some point. In fact, most college students do face anxiety at least once while attending college. Fortunately, there are many resources in most colleges in the United States that are available for students who are suffering from anxiety. Most academic facilities are well equipped with mental health centers and counseling services. If you feel you may be suffering from anxiety while attending college it is recommended to consult with an academic advisor or make an appointment with the college health center to speak with a counselor about your symptoms.