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College students are more stressed out than ever

College students are more stressed out than ever

College students are more stressed out than ever
November 09
18:23 2015

Chelsea Watkins | Staff Writer

@chelloo

Studies show that college students are more stressed out than ever before. According to an annual survey conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute, college freshmen have reported having lower levels of emotional health than in previous years.

Stress is one trigger for mental health issues like depression or eating disorders. As final exams and final project due dates are drawing near, the pressure of passing while managing other obligations seems to mount.

English sophomore Lauren Luke found herself calling her mom one day after breaking down from feeling overwhelmed from her responsibilities.

“I just called my mom and I told her I don’t know what to do anymore,” Luke said.

Juggling her new position as event coordinator for the Korean Culture Exchange and keeping up with the readings for her English, history and Chinese classes was all too much for Luke.

She often feels tired, a side effect from the medicine she takes for depression, and has found herself skipping class, dance practice and avoiding homework. But she reminds herself of her mom’s advice to not miss out on things and “take it a day at a time.”

Female students reported lower levels of mental health than male students in the survey mentioned.

History senior Lyssa Gramlich said she is stressed from the thought of not doing well enough in school.

“There was a time where I wasn’t doing as well as I should have been,” Gramlich said. “[It was] that whole situation of should I continue? Is this even worth the struggle I’m going through right now? Am I even smart enough to continue?”

Along with the stresses of day-to-day life, the economy has an effect on the college experience for students, according to the survey. About 53.1 percent of students are using loans to help pay for college expenses.

Cesar Villarreal, research assistant at the psychology clinic, said one of the major stresses he has seen while working with students has been the transition of coming into independence and responsibility as a college student.

“People experience stress differently and that affects people differently in how they manage it,” Villarreal said. “And it all impacts things later on.”

How people respond and manage daily stresses, such as complete avoidance or isolation, can predict mental wellness, according to a study by the Association for Psychological Science.

For Luke, reading comfort books like Harry Potter, writing poetry, and spending time with her roommates is a way to take a quick breather and relax.

“When I get stressed I try not to isolate myself because that can be the worst thing I can do for myself and then I purposely seek out things I know bring me joy.” Luke said.

Making time for self care, managing time appropriately and going to therapy can help with reduce the stress of being a student, Villarreal said.

“There’s kind of shame in coming to therapy sometimes,” Villarreal said. “But when you need to, just talk to someone. Sort your brain out. Why not do that?”

The Psychology Clinic, located in Terrill Hall, is open for students and members of the community for a fee. They offer psychotherapy and psychological evaluations. UNT also offers counseling services for students in Chestnut Hall. Students can attend eight free sessions per academic year.

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