By: Kiera Bell

Photo: Creative Market

College students are bombarded daily with a seemingly infinite number of worries. Many students lament, “I have 3 papers due this week, assignments, I’m trying to also balance a social life and have fun. When will I ever have time?”

Those seeking their degree find it difficult to balance the demands of education and a healthy social life. Anxiety is a very real and very powerful adversary facing more and more youth.

Social anxiety is one of the major disorders that affect many college students on a day-to-day basis. For those who don’t know, social anxiety is the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.

Shanice Johnson, a junior at Delaware State, also says she’s experienced social anxiety.

“Being a psychology major, it’s fascinating to see the things that affect people and how we as humans can help. But when you sit and learn about something that is affecting you, it’s crazy [sic],” she said. “I started to realize that I suffered from social anxiety and it caused me to continually stress everyday about having the right outfit and making sure I looked good. All so people wouldn’t have to judge me or think of me in a negative light. I then began to realize that this was not healthy and that I needed to make a change, not for people, but for me.”

Many students don’t even know that they are experiencing any type of anxiety and, therefore, do not receive the proper help in order to reduce these feelings.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reported that anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses. 30 percent of college students reported that stress had negatively affected their academic performance and more than 24 percent of college students reported they were taking psychotropic medications.

Devante Olfus, a senior at Delaware State University, described his struggle with anxiety throughout his four years of college.  “It really started my freshman year with not knowing anyone and stressing over just the little things. It really began to build as I got older and sometimes I felt like it would overpower me in a way. But, I do wish I talked to someone early throughout my years in college. Who knows where I’d be?”

There are thousands more students who face similar issues, making this a very real concern for college campuses. So many students experience different anxiety disorders every single day. Unless you are aware of the signs, you might not see that many are silently screaming for help.

If you are a student – or even an adult – experiencing anxiety, seek help from a counselor or professional. Delaware State University offers assistance through the Counseling Services department. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Counselors can be reached at 302-857-7381. There’s also a Crisis Hotline Service at 1-800-345-6785.

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