It’s not unusual to think of college life as a period filled with fun, laughter, self-discovery, and the beginning of lifelong friendships. College life brings with itself a certain set of characteristics like freedom, good company, new opportunities that often serves as the recipe for creating good memories. At the same time, one can find college life to be challenging, and in a certain sense, depressing.
Research suggests that anywhere between 30% to 40% of college students suffer from either anxiety, depression, or other clinically diagnosable psychological issues. The mental challenges that college students face during their college life are often overlooked by both teachers and parents. But not only do these challenges need to be acknowledged, but also need to be dealt with properly. Although there are a plethora of challenges faced by college students, these are some of the common ones.
College life can be amusing to a good amount of students, especially at the beginning. The newly found freedom from routine life, the ability to dress as one likes and to roam around is definitely cherished. But college life also empowers students to explore their own true selves.
Students get the opportunity to understand what their life goals are, what they want to be, what options do they have in life, and more. While critical for development, this period can also lead to confusion and eventually, unnecessary stress. Parents can be of great help to their children during this period by supporting them in their choices and letting them make their own mistakes. Read Also: 10 Free E-Book Download Sites You Must Know..
Competition is not a strange concept to even school students, but the competition evolves in many ways when one initiates his/her college life. Competition in college goes way beyond academics and is often linked to things that shape their whole life.
From things like physical appearance to economic status, consciously or unconsciously college-going students tend to compete with each other in these terms and often end up stressing about topics that might be significant only in the shorter term.
The fear of failing, be it academically or socially, often leads to anxiety that may further cause even more serious diseases. Hence, as a parent, it is great to expect your children to excel in life, but that should not turn into a stressor for the student.
Furthermore, career-related issues become prominent at this age. Students start worrying about their career readiness and upcoming responsibilities. And while one should start investing in their prospective careers at this age, that should not be done at the cost of present priorities and things like one’s own health, both physical and mental.
Dynamic Relationships and Adjustment Issues
College life is also defined by new relationships. You meet with a diverse range of people and end up creating relationships that vary in intensity as well as meaning over the years. Many students even experience their first relationship and heartbreak during the same period which in itself is a huge stressor.
New peers, if not chosen wisely, might also lead to peer pressure to do unsavory things which negatively affects one’s mental health and can also cause harmful consequences as well. All this is coupled with a new setting, challenges, and the environment.
These things can be overwhelming for a good amount of students. In fact, difficulty in terms of adjusting to new things like a functional adult has been identified as a clinically diagnosable disorder called Adjustment disorder which exhibits the seriousness of the issue. This is one area where parents need to put their years of experience to use and even intervene in their children’s life if required.