Information for College Students
Looking for resources at your school?
Click here to search the ULifeline database. ULifeline is a great online resource for college mental health.
Active Minds is the leading nonprofit organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking. Through campus-wide events and national programs, Active Minds aims to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues, and create a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health issues on campuses nationwide.
Often time, students feel alone and that they are the only one feeling this way. Check out this video on "What Students are Really Going Through".
College life and Stress
College marks a significant transition period in a young adult’s life. Moving away from family and friends and adjusting to new circumstances requires adaptation, flexibility, patience, and personal growth. Adapting to change can be stressful. Some of those stressors might include managing academic performance pressures, interpersonal relationships, and making changes in lifestyle and housing arrangements.
Perceived stress can become chronic with longer duration: the more students feel stressed the more likely they are to struggle in their classes or drop out of college, then feel more stress, and so on and so on through a vicious cycle. Prolonged stress increases the risk of depression and anxiety which then affects concentration levels, eating and sleep cycles, personal relationships and academic and work performance.
Students with high levels of stress are more prone to developing chronic illnesses with older age such as heart disease, arthritis and cancer. Therefore it is important to find techniques to manage daily stressors.
Some helpful tools in fighting against daily fatigue and feeling overwhelmed can be:
Understanding your response to stressful situations
- Do you feel angry, sad, tired, agitated?
- Do you talk about the situation with someone or do you avoid communication with others?
- Do you act based on your anger and frustration?
Develop effective ways of analyzing the problem and finding solutions
- If you are overwhelmed with deadlines, can you prioritize tasks bases on due dates?
Learn specific relaxation or meditation techniques
- Stop what you are doing! Count till 10, take a deep breath and as you exhale visualize a waterfall that is washing away all your stress
Have an open conversation with friends or family members
- Tell them how you feel!
- You may be able to outsource some of your tasks to them!
- Maybe they can help with paying your bills this month?
- The least they can do is to listen to you and provide some emotional support
Revisit your values and recreate the bigger picture
- What are the causes you care about the most?
- Is your daily life filled with activities that include those causes closest to your heart? If not, it’s not too late.
- Try to incorporate one task a day in your daily schedule that makes you feel good. It can be as simple as petting your dog, going for a walk, or helping someone you encounter on your way to class.
YOU MATTER! Take time to take care of yourself
- Have you eaten a balanced nutritious food today?
- Have you exercised? Drank enough water?
- Write down how you feel!
- What happened today that made you feel this way?
- What can you do to improve your mood?
Written by Paddy, a Cogtoolz Team Member
Video. SDSU Counseling and Psychological Services, http://studentaffairs.sdsu.edu/cps/index.html
Dixon, S. K. & Robinson Kurpius, S. E. (2008), Depression and College Stress Among University Undergraduates. Do mattering and Self-Esteem Make a Difference? Journal of College Student Development, 49 (5): 412-424. doi: 10.1353/csd.0.0024
Lee, R. M., Keough, K. A. and Sexton, J. D. (2002), Social Connectedness, Social Appraisal, and Perceived Stress in College Women and Men. Journal of Counseling & Development, 80: 355–361. doi: 10.1002/j.1556-6678.2002.tb00200.x
Skowron, E. A., Wester, S. R. and Azen, R. (2004), Differentiation of Self Mediates College Stress and Adjustment. Journal of Counseling & Development, 82: 69–78. doi: 10.1002/j.1556-6678.2004.tb00287.x