Anxiety as a College Student

School is stressing me out, how do I know when I should get help?

Why are so many college students anxious?

College is really hard! Adjusting to a new stage of life, learning about yourself and your identity, making big decisions, AND studying for classes! Some students also report fears of failure, worry for the world, too many demands on their time, judgements from friends or family, substance abuse, sexual assault, peer pressure, or family struggles. That is a lot for anyone to handle! It is okay to struggle during this stage of life, but it is not okay to have to do it alone.

Anxiety is one of the most common reasons students seek mental health services (Center for Collegiate Mental Health 2017 Annual Report). Common symptoms of anxiety are feeling on edge or restless, having trouble concentrating, feeling like your mind is going blank, being easily fatigued, having tense muscles, or have difficulties sleeping. These feelings can be a lot to handle, especially with the added stressors of schooling.

In 2017, more than 18 million students were enrolled in college in the U. S. (U. S. Census Bureau). Of these students, nearly three out of four of these students have experienced “overwhelming anxiety” at some point in their lives. If you are feeling anxious, know that you are not alone. Anxiety in college in a completely normal reaction, however, that does not make it easy to handle. If anxiety is feeling out of control, and making it difficult to live your life, CARE can help.

How can counseling help me as a student with anxiety?

You don’t have to handle all these stressors by yourself. Everyone deserves a safe space to work through feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. By working together with your counselor, you can learn coping skills and calming strategies to help you handle when life feels overwhelming. Talking through worries and negative thoughts can lead to increased awareness and insight, leading you to be more confident and able to handle any struggles life throws your way.

Additional Resources

Links (Center for Collegiate Mental Health 2017 Annual Report) (graph)