Education

Demands of College and Students’ Mental Health

London Keemer

Have you ever taken the time to think about the pressures of school and how they impact students? Furthermore, have you thought of how students balance their personal lives and academics? Well, as reported by the United Educators, a 2017 national study found that approximately 24 percent of students cited anxiety and nearly 16 percent cited depression as afflicting their academic work.

School for college students can entail a variety of things that can cause stress, anxiety, and other mental illnesses/disorders. For example, school can mean late nights of studying, early mornings, tight schedules, multitasking, etc. There are also many organizations and activities that students take part in that can contribute to a decline in their mental health.

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Photo by: London Keemer

Delaware State University student Dominique Selby stated “I feel like I have a pressure to succeed. I tend to get very stressed and anxious, which affects my mental health in a negative way.” She said “I am part of an organization on campus and I work in the library as a math tutor every day. It gets very hard to manage at times.” Selby is a sophomore at DSU and is also enrolled in the honors program, which has more intensive work than for the average student.

Mental illnesses/disorders on college campuses are not uncommon amongst students in the United States. According to a study conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in four students develop a diagnosable illness such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc.

The pressures of school can affect people in different ways. Although there are different coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and anxiety in school, all students do not always have healthy coping mechanisms. Gabrielle Callwood-Jackson, a student at the University of Maryland College Park stated “College puts me under a lot of stress, which gives me a lot of anxiety. I’m in school on a full ride, so I have to keep a certain GPA to keep my scholarship. Usually, when I have too much work and I feel like I can’t handle it, I just shut down. I know it isn’t healthy, but I’m just too stressed.”

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Photo By: London Keemer

There are various coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and anxiety in college so that they will not develop into a chronic mental illness. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ways to cope with stress and anxiety are eating well-balanced meals, exercising daily, limiting alcohol and caffeine, taking deep breaths, etc.

A main contributor to preventing stress, anxiety, and other mental disorders in college is time management. Time management has many benefits that can help students keep a consistent schedule. According to thoughtco.com, the benefits of time management include more time to sleep well, more time to relax, more flexibility and spontaneity, etc.

Briana Powell, a Delaware State University student stated “School does give me a lot of stress and sometimes it’s hard to cope; but I do have ways to deal with it. I try my best to manage my time and I feel like I do a pretty decent job. I do find that when I manage my time that my schedule and workload are lighter.”

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Photo By: WOSU Radio- WOSU Public Media

To help students manage their stress level so it won’t get out of hand, colleges and universities across the nation offer on-campus counseling services. Here at Delaware State University, we have counseling staff, which consists of professionals working in the counseling field as well as graduate and undergraduate student interns. The ‘peer counselors’ help students with all of their counseling needs in order to prevent anything detrimental from happening.

Your mental health is important, especially in college. You are tested in more ways than one, which can be extremely detrimental to your mental health. If you ever feel like you can’t handle or feel like giving up, please do not hesitate to contact the on-campus counselors. They are there for a reason and a very viable resource. School is hard on a student no matter the workload. Find a schedule that is best for you and work accordingly.

Delaware State University Counseling services

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