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About one-third of university students who study in the US is suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression (Novotney, 2014). The life of university students was always said to be different from the lives of children and adults, but the issue was never thought to be as crucial as it is now. Previously the years that people spent studying were considered to be the best period full of joy and entertainment but today the surveys show that their philological well-being worsened tremendously since the beginning of the 21st century (Chao, 2012). It is not a secret that university students can face lots of stress. Still, the fact that “more than 30 percent of those who seek services for mental health issues report that they have seriously considered attempting suicide at some point in their lives, up from about 24 percent in 2010” proves that the problem should receive more attention (Novotney, 2014, p. 36).
Of course, it is advantageous that the students have an opportunity to attend counseling when they have some related concerns, as they can receive help. However, it cannot be considered to be normal that almost half of them have the issues they are not able to cope with without the outer help. It is also critical that more than 30 percent of students take medication to manage their day-to-day activities. Considering the statistics that were mentioned, the significance of the problem cannot be denied. When deepening into the subject, many scientists and psychologists believe that the adverse effect on the students’ well-being is caused by the environment they live in and the schedule they have. Still, there are individuals who have another point of view. They underline that poor personal habits are more influential in this perspective. But while they are concerned about the negative impact of sleeping and eating habits on the students’ psychological well-being, the way full schedules and environment affect it should be considered, because overload, social and financial problems cannot be solved by the students’ wish.
Many students who have problems while studying report academic-related stressors to be the most critical causes of the issues they have. According to the research that was conducted by Deasy and colleagues, such factors as “exams (74.4%), assignments (71.0%), workload (67.9%), practice placements (36.7%), lectures (8.3%) and lecturers/teachers (6.6%)” worsen students’ mental health and make them refer to the counselor (Deasy et al., 2014). More than 40 percent of the participants complained of psychological distress, which made the professionals rather concerned, as it proves that these young people are likely to suffer from severe mental disorders that last for a long time. They underline that their future is under the threat and that universities should try to help them before it is too late.
Unfortunately, individuals who suffer from psychological distress are not willing to seek help, which leads to complications with the course of time. Many students find the tasks they receive in the university to be too complicated, which makes them frustrated and depressed, as they feel unable to solve them. Some students claim that they have a heavy workload that is full of unnecessary assessments. Different tests and examinations always put under pressure those who need to receive the highest points. They spend nights studying and do not rest enough, which affects their condition adversely. Excessive expectations from teachers and parents make young people work without breaks to finish all tasks in time and even do some additional assignments that allow them to score more points. These examples show that because of the academic overload, students yield to stress, and their psychological condition worsens.
When entering university, people find themselves placed in a new environment, which puts them under the pressure and makes anxiety due to the changes faced. The majority of students left their homes for the first time, which makes them learn how to cope with day-to-day activities without the help they used to receive from their nearest and dearest. Students are to get to know how they can successfully manage external and internal activities, which requires much time and effort. It is reported that the most frequent problems are related to “finances (51.7%), commuting to college (13.6%), being away from home (11.0%), sharing accommodation (7.2%) and making new friends (6.7%)” (Deasy et al., 2014). Due to the changes in society, people turn out to face problems when communicating with the individuals they do not know, which means that it is hard for them to make friends and receive support. Still, the main issue is claimed to be connected with finances, as students feel miserable and not able to cope with difficulties when they cannot afford the things they used to have at home (Ludban, 2015). To put it simply, the new environment puts students in a stressful situation, as it presupposes the existence of the issues that they have never faced before.
Even though many psychologists believe the factors connected with the university to be the causes of mental health problems experienced by the students, some of them are sure that one’s personal poor habits are more critical. Ozpolat, Isgor, and Sezer (2012) believe that lifestyle affects an individual’s well-being more than all other factors. Unhealthy eating habits may increase stress levels. For example, food that is full of caffeine and/or sugar makes people anxious. A habit of going to bed late makes individuals irritable, as students need to wake up early and do not have enough sleep. Still, many young people have such poor habits even before entering university, which means that their mental health is affected by additional factors that they have never experienced before. Thus, academic overload and the environment seem to be more critical than habits in this perspective.
Thus, it can be concluded that today’s university students often suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression mainly because of academic overload and a new environment. Some of them refer to the counselors and take medicines, but others never speak up, which proves that universities should search for the solution. According to the research conducted by Regehra, Glancyb, and Pittsc (2013), “cognitive, behavioral, and mindfulness interventions are effective in reducing stress in university students” (p. 1). To improve the situation when students’ mental health becomes worse with the course of time, which leads even to suicide, universities should create and maintain stress reduction programs for their students to receive needed help and support. Young people are the future of our world, why should they continue suffering?
This assignment was rather difficult because the academic works related to the same issue but discussing it in different perspectives was to be found. This paper is well-structured; it meets all requirements and deserves the best mark even though it could be more in-depth. It was written with help from peers (evaluation and proofreading).
Chao, R. (2012). Managing perceived stress among college students: The roles of social support and dysfunctional coping. Journal of College Counseling, 15(1), 5-21.
Deasy,C., Coughlan, B., Pironom, J., Jourdan, D., & Mannix-McNamara, P. (2014). Psychological distress and coping amongst higher education students. PLoS One, 9(12), 1-23.
Ludban, M. (2015). Psychological well-being. Web.
Novotney, A. (2014). Students under pressure. Monitor on Psychology, 45(8), 36.
Ozpolat, A., Isgor, I., & Sezer, F. (2012). Investigating psychological well-being of university students according to lifestyles. Social and Behavioral Sciences, 47(1), 256-262.
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Regehra, C., Glancyb, D., & Pittsc, A. (2013). Interventions to reduce stress in university students. Journal of Affective Disorders, 148(1), 1–11.