By Felicia Roehm
THE spring semester has just begun, and after a five-week break, students were ready to return to school to see friends and go to events; however, the stress and work has already piled on for most. Feeling overwhelmed in college is common, but the first week is always busy and difficult for students as they get back into a routine.
On my first day back to classes I was already feeling swamped with homework. I usually try to finish my school work by 6 p.m. every night, but I stayed up till 10 p.m. the first night working and planning my next few days. I felt stressed and anxious looking at Canvas again knowing I had a lot of work ahead of me.
However, I am not the only one stressed. Allison Fama, a sophomore dance science major and psychology minor, had many concerns when returning to school. She said, “I personally stress and worry most about my work load. I’m always concerned that I’m not going to be able to keep up and will fall bahind and will fail.” She also worries about having enough time to fit everything she has to do into her schedule including homework and club activities.
It is especially important to prioritize mental health to help prevent burnout and exhaustion.
Mental health is discussed much more today, especially in college. The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article titled: “Trauma and Social Anxiety Are Growing Mental-Health Concerns for College Students,” written by Kate Marijolovic. The article explains that college students’ mental health concerns have increased in the past few years, but more students are reaching out for help and most colleges have counseling services available. The article was written about a report that collected data from 180 counseling centers at different colleges.
This report represents almost 200,000 college students between 2021 and 2022. The report concluded that academic stress slightly decreased, but anxiety and depression slightly increased; however, academic stress was still at a higher level than before the COVID-19 pandemic, and students’ mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety, have slowly risen.
Academic stress may be decreasing, but social anxiety has drastically increased due to the pandemic. From having to learn through a screen and spending more time on social media, to returning to school and the office in person has caused more social anxiety in many people.
The article interviewed Brett E. Scofield, the executive director of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, who said, “When students improve during treatment at counseling centers, they’re more likely to remain in school.” He believes that counseling services are extremely helpful for college students and that every student should take advantage of it. Learning to manage stress is vital and United Healthcare has some tips. United Healthcare recommends organizing and prioritizing what has to get done and always remembering to get enough sleep. They also recommend going on walks or moving in some way and looking at different counseling services to see if they could be of any help. Rider University also has resources to help students.
You can reach out to the Counseling Center by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling them at 609-896-5157.