Stress Statistics About College Students

The unfortunate truth is that college isn’t going to be fun all the time—it’s going to be stressful. While so many college experiences will be exciting, you also will need to adjust to the adult lifestyle.

College is the first time for most of you to experience true independence and with that independence will come responsibilities: managing your time, getting your schoolwork done, and recognizing any negative influences that surround you.

How Many College Students Are Stressed?

According to a MSN article and, stress is a major problem that college students everywhere are dealing with. The research done by the Associated Press and a college TV station (mtvU) surveyed college students throughout the United States. Some of their data included:

  • 1 out of 10 college students reported that they feel stressed often.
  • 1 out of 5 say they feel stressed most of the time.
  • 1 out of 4 students experienced daily stress.
  • 1 in 10 students had thoughts of suicide.

The second leading cause of death among college students is suicide. The first is overdose due to drugs and alcohol or being involved in a driving accident. It’s extremely frightening to know that college student’s stress levels can result in depression and suicide.

Another study done at by the American College Health Association on their National College Health Assessment in Fall 2011 found similar data at Washington University.

Why Are College Students Feeling Stressed?

After reading through several articles on college stress statistics, the following factors appeared to be the overriding reasons for students to feel overwhelmed:

  • Grades—There’s a pressure on college students to achieve perfect grades in their classes.
  • Amount of Schoolwork—The college workload is much heavier than the high school workload. It’s going to take up more time to study and complete all assignments on time.
  • Social Acceptance/Peer Pressure—College students stress about making new friends and being accepted amongst their classmates (This peer pressure can also result from the other negative factors including drinking, drugs, or skipping class).
  • Roommate Problems—Especially during freshman year, students may not get along with their roommate; lifestyle differences may cause frustration and anxiety.
  • Homesickness—Although students will be happy to break free of their high school life at first, after a few weeks they’ll start to miss family and friends back home.
  • The Economy—Financial pressure on parents and students has grown significantly with the constant increases in tuition. This also leaves students anxious about their college debt.
  • Graduation—While this stressor comes after four years at college, many seniors become extremely worried about their career, living situation, and budget after graduating.

So I’m A Stressed Student…How Can I Cope With My Stress?

There are several ways that college students can cope with their stress; the answer is different for each student. My suggestion is to either seek someone to confide in or make time to step away from your academic or social responsibilities and have some “me time.”

Every college offers a counseling center for students to take advantage of. These people are trained to help you cope with college pressures, medical or physical concerns, and academic struggles.

Other ways you can decrease your stress levels:

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Exercise
  • Meditation or Yoga
  • Call your parents and talk to them about your stress
  • Make time to hang out with your best friends
  • Take study breaks
  • Try to stay on a regular schedule (time management)
  • Realize that even when you have a lot of work, you WILL get it done.
    Just take one step at a time!

As a final note; I wrote this article in the hopes that as an incoming (or current) college student you’ll recognize that although school will be stressful, there are several ways to manage your stress.

Depression is a very common thing among college students due to the enormous pressure of the institution; so please, talk to someone if you are feeling overwhelmed. You are not going through this alone (86% of students feel overwhelmed) and you will have so many people around you who want to make your college experience as great as it can be.

Related Posts

The following two tabs change content below.
Stephanie Vlk

Stephanie Vlk

Stephanie Vlk is a junior at the University of Dayton pursuing a degree in communication with a concentration in electronic media as well as a minor in English. While not in class, Stephanie is involved in a service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and a honors professional fraternity, Phi Beta Chi. Outside of academic and community activities, she enjoys dancing hip hop, reading, spending time with friends, and doing yoga.