According to research conducted by Penn State University in 2017, the Center for Collegiate Mental Health Report, depression and anxiety are the most prevalent reasons for college students’ seeking mental health assistance. A major reason is that colleges are commonly associated with higher levels of independence, new interesting people, new perspectives, and lots of fun. Overnight these students are separated from their accustomed support system of friends and family. They also experience numerous new challenges, ranging from developing an autonomous identity to handling heavy workloads and sharing rooms with different people. It is therefore not surprising that anxiety often peaks during college years due to the presence of these numerous abrupt changes. So what do we need to know concerning anxiety in college? How should we cope with this mental disorder if we become victims?
What Should You Know About Anxiety in College?
Anxiety is Common. Anxiety is prevalent in college, as indicated by research conducted by the American College Health Association on American college students. The survey revealed that approximately 63% of college students experienced overwhelming anxiety in 2018, with 23% of them having being diagnosed or treated for anxiety.
Various types of anxiety exist. Students can face several types of anxiety during their time in college. Such include social anxiety, separation anxiety, anticipatory anxiety, peer pressure anxiety, and test/examination anxiety.
- Social anxiety is the feeling of intimidation when a student is required to present a project in class, approach their lecturers, or initiate a romantic relationship.
- Separation anxiety is the feeling of missing home when a student goes to college and begins living independently.
- Anticipatory anxiety is the feeling of agitation when waiting for something before the start of a scheduled activity.
- Peer pressure anxiety is the feeling of being coerced to engage in undesirable actions such as using drugs or having sex for one to fit in a particular group of peers.
- Test anxiety is a feeling that resulted from unrealistic expectations, study habits, or poor performance on course work and assignments.
College anxiety is on the rise. Anxiety among young adults is on the rise like never before. A study conducted in 2017 in Sweden discovered that anxiety among students of the ages 16-23 years has unprecedentedly increased in recent years. The rise in anxiety among young adults is the strong connection between decreased mental well-being and increased time spent on electronic communication, according to a recent study.
What Are Anxiety Symptoms?
Anxiety symptoms can take different forms, and they include:
- Behavioral symptoms include problems in interpersonal relationships, pathological lying, nail-biting, avoidance or procrastination, abrupt changes in eating and sleeping habits
- Emotional symptoms comprising of sense of loneliness, irritability, depression, feelings of sadness and loss of patience
- Cognitive symptoms, which include amnesia, difficulty in maintaining attention/focus, and chronic worrying
- Physical symptoms consisting of nausea, headaches, unusual variations in weight and uncommon fatigue
How do We Cope with Anxiety?
College students should note that there are tips that can help you manage anxiety and overcome the feelings of nervousness, unease, or fear. When you consider these tips, count yourself lucky, because you will manage to control and prevent anxiety.
Seek assistance. It is important for people experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety to seek help or support from professional mental health experts. One can contact counseling centers that provide helpful remedies to anxiety and any other mental health disorders. Reaching out to spiritual or religious leaders, lecturers, or talking to your peers may also be quite beneficial in the treatment of anxiety. Some campuses offer resources for study, support, and academic advice that may be quite helpful to those experiencing anxiety or those at risk of anxiety.
Face challenges head-on. College years, especially the first year, which are transitional, are marred with challenges. Such situations may affect the students’ mental health in their first years because they are not used to the new lifestyle. Therefore, the students should face the challenges head-on instead of fearing them. For example, the workload that is associated with college life is enormous, and at times students may find themselves in a situation where they have multiple assignments within a short time frame. The students should look at other ways to hire a writer in completing their assignments on time through online services. Such platforms reduce the risk of experiencing anxiety associated with unfinished assignments or lack of adequate time.
Practice self-care. Students, especially those in their early college years, need to consider adopting self-care routines, including regular exercises, a balanced diet, and healthy sleep patterns. These routines are important in reducing the risk of experiencing mental health illnesses such as anxiety. For instance, early sleep helps students to have enough time to prepare for their lectures the following day. Exercises relax the mind, and it relieves the students from any stress or fears, enabling them to have a feel-good effect.