Statistics show that mental health issues are more prevalent than ever among college students. This can be due to many factors facing these young adults today. Between the pressure to succeed, the financial struggle to make ends meet while in college, and the challenges of being on their own for the first time, college students are experiencing pulls from several directions that are causing them to have mental health struggles. On top of this, many students are coming to campus with mental illnesses that they’ve learned to treat and manage at home, and the shock of being on their own can exacerbate their situations.
The pressure to succeed
It seems that the pressure to succeed is at an all-time high. With the job market getting more and more competitive, and fewer high paying opportunities out there, students have extreme pressure to succeed. This can be a cause for mental health issues because they may not be able to see how they’ll pay off the thousands of dollars they’re spending on their education. The economic trend of the past 10 years has caused many students to lose faith in the market, leaving them in a position of extreme boom or bust when it comes to success.
Financial pressure to make ends meet
Aside from the pressure to succeed, students are also faced with their immediate financial needs. In today’s economy, more students are left to provide for themselves because their families are not able to. Others not only have to provide for themselves but their families as well. This leaves students at very vulnerable places and at risk of mental health struggles. The uncertainty of how they’ll pay rent or get their next meal can be crushing. Because students are struggling to make ends meet financially, they find less time or motivation to work on their school work which causes them to fall into a deeper state of mental health struggles. This leaves students feeling inadequate and without the right help may cause them a lot of harm.
On their own for the first time
Another major issue causing mental health struggles amongst college students is the challenge of being on their own for the first time. This coupled with students already experiencing mental health struggles before college can be a huge obstacle for many. Being on their own for the first time may cause some to make risky decisions while for others it causes them to retreat into their own shells. Neither of these options is healthy for college students and as a result more often than not both these groups of students face mental health struggles.
Raise awareness for all areas
All in all college students may face anxiety or depression at one point in their college career, thankfully there are conversations going on around these topics. Unfortunately, these are not the only mental health struggles facing college students today. Suicide, eating disorders, and addiction are among the top challenges facing college students today. If we learn the signs and open the conversation about these issues, we may help create a happier and healthier higher education population.