Why do I feel so stressed in college?
You’ve looked forward to starting college for YEARS. All through college you excitedly awaited that point in your life where you’d have unlimited freedom! You wouldn’t be accountable to anyone and you could make your own decisions. You’d be able to take classes that you liked and you couldn’t wait for the excitement of tailgating and football games!
Now that it’s here, there are things you love about college. You joined a welcoming sorority. You are excited to choose a major and start taking more interesting classes. The campus is beautiful and have even made a few friends. So…why do you feel so stressed? Why do you feel like you aren’t getting the most out of your college experience?
Common Stressors in College
Here are a few of the many things that might be adding stress to your plate without you even know it.
- Learning to live with a roommate. Your roommate seemed nice when you first met and you had fun decorating together and maybe even went out a time or two that first week of school. But now you are starting to notice your differences. You always thought YOU were messy, but your roommate? Wow…just wow… And how do you even bring up the way they’re annoying music and podcasts make it difficult for you to study? Consider checking out this blog I wrote last year on communicating with college roommates.
- Test Anxiety. In college, large portions of your grades depend on tests. Unlike high school, your college professors rarely let you make up missed points or bring in note cards. And of course, your professors don’t communicate so you may have more than one test in a single day. Furthermore, the tests don’t fit into your schedule. Why would a professor schedule a test on the Monday after a college football weekend?!? Here’s a blog post with two tips for managing test anxiety.
- Making Friends. This is something people often don’t realize will be difficult in college. I can’t tell you how often a client has told me how different it is to make friends in college than it was in high school. When you get to know someone in college, you often have to go out of your way to see them regularly since you don’t pass them in the hall four times a day like you did in high school.
- Money. Perhaps you are working a part time job to earn your own money. Even if your parents are paying your way, you may find yourself in fights over the phone about your spending or feeling guilty each time you purchase something.
- Time Management. With more freedom comes more responsibility, right? Time management is tricky in college. You have to balance classes, work, friends/social life and maybe even going home from time to time.
- Home Sickness. When I went to college three hours from home I was THRILLED to get away, so home sickness came as a shock to me. Feeling home sick doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision. It just means that your life is changing, and change is hard.
Support Coping with the Stress of College
Next Wednesday I’ll publish an article on how to manage stress in college. If you are a college student in the Mid Missouri area and feel overwhelmed by stress and need a little extra support, we can help. Call Aspire Counseling at 573-328-2288 to set up an appointment with one of our mental health therapists today!
Jessica Tappana started Aspire Counseling, a Columbia, MO counseling clinic in May 2017 to provide effective treatments in a caring environment. She carefully chooses therapists who are both caring and provide evidenced based treatment. Aspire Counseling frequently works with college students and young adults struggling with anxiety, trauma, grief, coming out, depression or a variety of other mental health concerns. We can help you get the most out of your college experience! Healing starts here.