Struggling in College and the Effects on Mental Health

February 9, 2021 at 5:00 AM
Educational Attainment Services can help students who are struggling in college.

College is often portrayed as one of the best times of your life, filled with meeting new people, self-growth, and preparing yourself for a successful life after graduation. However, for many students who are struggling in college, these four years or so aren’t always as fun-loving as they’d imagined.

According to student surveys from the American College Health Association in 2018 and 2019, about 60% of respondents claimed they felt “overwhelming” anxiety, and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. Understanding the toll college can take on your mental health and, more importantly, what you can do about it can help you better manage these stresses and truly enjoy your college experience.

Facts about mental health of students who are struggling in college.

Despite its typically glamorous depictions in the media, college is a stressful time for students. For many, it’s often the first time they’re living away from their parents. They have to navigate novel social situations and establish a new support system. Many have to balance their education with some type of job. All while maintaining a heavy course load and trying to keep their grades up. That’s a lot for anyone to handle, so it’s not surprising that so many students who are struggling in college have some type of psychological distress.

In recent surveys, nearly a third of college students who were polled said they felt stress caused by the demands of college. Another study has found that one in three college students have experienced symptoms of depression that have had a significant impact on their life. More than 80% reported they’ve felt overwhelmed by all of their responsibilities, with 45% finding their situation hopeless.

This is problematic for numerous reasons. Poor mental health affects students’ ability to manage their academics effectively, which only exasperates the problem. It also affects their physical health. Certain mental health disorders have been linked to shorter lifespans, and people who are struggling with these issues are more likely to take up unhealthy coping mechanisms such as smoking and drinking.

How to manage your mental health when struggling in college.

Despite these bleak statistics, there is plenty of hope for anyone struggling with mental health issues in college. The stigma surrounding these problems has started to be lifted at an increasing rate in recent years, and more so than ever, colleges are providing students with a robust support system with counselors, nutritionists, wellness coaches, and peer advisors. While taking advantage of these perks can help, there are also things you can do to improve your emotional and mental health.

Maintaining your physical health is one effective strategy for managing mental stresses, so try to always eat healthily, get plenty of sleep, and stay physically active. Talking about your feelings and any anxieties you have is also useful, so try to find a friend, parent, or counselor who you can safely share with to work through what’s bothering you. You can visit MedlinePlus for more strategies to better manage your overall mental health.

Are you struggling in college?

Then let the experts at Educational Attainment Services help. As one of LA’s premier college advisory groups, we specialize in helping young students get into the school of their dreams and equip them with the skills needed to not only survive the college experience, but to thrive in it. Our highly trained and experienced team is familiar with the struggles that college students face these days, and we can help you work through any obstacles you’re facing with careful guidance and actionable solutions. Learn more about our company to see how we can help, or send us a message to schedule an initial consultation.