Anxiety in College Students

Anxiety in College Students




Anxiety in College Students

Anxiety and depression are two common mental illnesses that affect most college students. For many college is the phase where a huge transition of someone’s life happens. Aside from one pursuing higher education, it is at this stage that most students also transition to adulthood where they seek part time employment so that they can be able to pay their bills and also help their parents pay their fees considering how education is expensive in the United States. Anxiety is characterized by various signs and symptoms and it includes fatigue, restlessness, difficulty to focus and lack of sleep. When college students suffer from anxiety it is likely to interfere with their academic performance and their life in general.

According to a statistic that was conducted by the U.S Census Bureau in 2017, it is approximated that three in every four college students has at one point experienced “overwhelming anxiety” (American Institute of Stress, 2019). There are several reasons as to why prevalence of anxiety is this high among the college students. Most college students are often under pressure to manage their coursework, participate in extracurricular activities and work either part-time or fill time. The stress is also as a result of deciding a career path based on their education goals. As mentioned earlier, most college students are also at a major part of life transition and are moving from childhood into adulthood. In adulthood, they are tasked with so much responsibility which at times may be so overwhelming for them to be able to handle.

The article points out that college depression is not a separate diagnosis on itself but it may rather mark the onset of depression that may las if not treated. According to a research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, students who suffer from bipolar or schizophrenia are much more likely to drop out of college as compared to those that do not have these diagnoses. This is because the pressure may too much for them and they do not have a proper coping mechanism that can help them pick up. Anxiety in students may result in other mental conditions among the students including eating disorders, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. When in college, most students are likely to turn to substance abuse and use of certain drugs as a way of helping them cope with the anxiety.

There are several effects of anxiety to a student. The first is decline in performance as most can no longer concentrate properly in class. Some students are also likely to drop out of college and some take gap years so that they can recharge. The effect of anxiety may also extend long after the student has already graduated from school. It may worsen other pre-existing conditions that were present including migraines, chronic pain and heart disease. Anxiety may also play a role in a person recovery from other illnesses for example it may interfere with the recovery process of a person who may have suffered from a heart attack (American Institute of Stress, 2019).

With the increase in number of students with mental illnesses, most universities are now taking up initiatives to help college students. Most universities have free University Counselling services that the students may seek when they feel overwhelmed. There has also been an increase in awareness to students about mental health and what to look out for. Although most universities have tried offering counselling services with little to no funding, getting enough counsellors is often a big challenge. Students are also coming up with support groups where they can meet and discuss their challenges and how to cope with them. Such groups are a great way of letting students know that at times people go through challenges and with a proper support system they may overcome these challenges.


Anxiety in College Students: Causes, Statistics & How Universities Can Help. (2019, October 21). Retrieved from