As a student at a career college, you may experience stress because you have not planned for this particular post-high-school period in your life and may be overwhelmed by the many different challenges you face.
Prepare yourself for the pressures of the college experience and watch your friends for signs of stress and depression. There is help available for those who need it.
There are Many Demands on College Students
It is important for college students to learn how to balance their academic work with their personal responsibilities, social activities, and financial needs. If one area is causing stress, it is usually manageable, but some students are juggling several issues at once:
- The expectation of parents for the student to achieve high grades
- The expectation of one’s self to achieve academic success, whatever that means to the individual
- Financial worries
- Conflicts with roommates or other students
- Relationship failures or concerns
- Work responsibilities and pressures
- Time management difficulties
- Loneliness without the comfort of home and family
- Uncertainty of their future
Stress is far too Common
Recent studies have shown that many college and university students feel lonely, stressed, depressed, and some have even considered suicide. In a 2013 study, more than 30,000 students were surveyed and the Globe and Mail published the troubling findings:
- Almost 90% revealed they were overwhelmed by the demands on them the previous year
- More than 50% reported feeling helpless
- 9.5% said they had considered suicide
These shocking statistics suggest that students entering college must do more than anticipate the fun of embarking on a new social life and worry about clothing styles. Pre-college planning means setting up a game plan to deal with the college experience.
Prepare for the Pressures of College
- Keep a Planning Calendar – Set realistic goals and arm yourself with a planning calendar to keep track of assignments and exams to manage your time. Don’t allow yourself to fall behind and start to panic about the lack of time required to meet your academic commitments.
- Follow a Budget – Prepare a budget to stay on top of your financial situation. You should always know what funds you have available to meet your obligations and what you can afford to squander on fun.
- Live a Healthy Lifestyle – Food and exercise are important and help manage stress levels. Eat well, don’t skip breakfast, and make time for regular exercise.
- Get Enough Sleep – Don’t let your social life interfere with your sleep. Fatigue will contribute to your falling behind in studies and assignments, and inattention in class.
- Hang on to Your Standards – Don’t allow peer pressure to cause you to participate in undesirable activities or to feel uncomfortable if you refuse. This type of pressure will occur all through your life. Set your standards and stick with them in college.
- Keep an Eye on Your Friends – Watch for signs of stress in your friends in case it is becoming unmanageable for them. Be a good buddy.
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