Outbreak: The Epidemic of Stress In College Students
College students are reporting increased levels of stress. Family, academics,
finances, and an uncertain future are all contributing factors to a feeling of stress in
student’s daily lives.
Stress by Generation - American Psychological Association (APA) Study1:
(A 10 point scale where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress,”)
stress level reported by All Generations
stress level reported by Millennials (18-33) – college-age demographic
stress level reported by Gen Xers (34 to 47)
stress level reported by Boomers (48 to 66)
stress level reported by Matures (67 years and older)
Accounting for the greater stress
Younger people don’t have as much experience coping with stress as older
people thus they report having greater amounts of stress.
percentage of Millennials that report their stress has increased in the last year
85:percentage of students in 2009 said they have felt stressed in their daily
69:percentage of campuses that provide stress reduction programs
(as reported by 293 College Counseling Centers surveyed)
The Make-up of Student Stress:
Family issues & Relationships/dating:
54:percentage of students that feel family issues contribute to their stress
53:percentage of students that feel relationships/dating contribute to their
74 percentage of students that feel grades in school contribute to their stress.
78 percentage of students that feel schoolwork contributes to their stress.
35:percentage of students that feel physical health contributes to their stress.
31:percentage of students that feel mental health/emotional issues
contributes to their stress.
Concern for the Future:
47:percentage of students that feeling concerned for finding a full-time job
after graduation contributes to their stress.
38:percentage of students that feel being concerned about getting into
graduate or professional school contributes to their stress.
67:percentage of students that feel financial worries contribute to their stress.
52:percentage of students that feel the economy contributes to their stress.
17:percentage of students that are “seriously considering leaving or
dropping out of college”.
54:percentage of students that site “financial problems” as a factor in
considering dropping out of college.
77: percentage of students that are worried about their parent’s
57:percentage of students that are worried that they might not find a
job after graduating from college.
Is Technology adding to Student Stress?
- Distracts development of emotional skills
- Contributes to the inability to stay focused and understand that one
cannot control everything.
- Increases the feeling of being disconnected, anxious and a general sense
o A healthy adult should get an average of 8 hours of sleep each day.9
o One quarter of all college students are chronically sleep deprived
Affects of Sleep Deprivation:
o Short sleepers tend to have lower grade point averages, perform worse on
tests, and get worse grades.
o Lack of sleep decreases the brain’s ability to concentrate, resulting in more
o Students who get 6 hours or less of sleep per night feel more tired, sad, and
o More illness, such as colds and flu, due to a lowered immune system.
o Increased weight gain and obesity.
How To Deal With Stress:
1. Stop Stressing about Stress - Admit that you are stressed and figure out
how to handle it.
2. Sleep - Getting more sleep can help your mind refocus, recharge, and
3. Food - Go eat something balanced and healthy: fruits and veggies, whole
4. Exercise – It doesn’t have to be long, it can mean a relaxing 30-minute walk
while listening to your favorite music.
5. Quiet time - Finding a few moments of peace and quiet - with no cell phone,
roommates or crowds - might be just what you need.
6. Social time - Having a social life is an important part of your college
experience, so don’t forget to take a break from studying to enjoy friends.
7. Fun – Schoolwork just needs to get done - so try to figure out how to make it
a little more fun and enjoyable.
8. Distance – Of course you want to help and support those around you, but if it
is adding to your stress, it’s okay to take a step back and focus on yourself for
a little while.
9. Perspective – Talking out your stresses may help you process what you
need to do and help you realize that things are much more manageable.