We know college is stressful. It was stressful when we were there and is actually even more stressful now, as the expectations of our emerging adults continue to rise with the changing of the times.
But what don’t we know about the stress they’re feeling?
You’re rushing from one end of campus to the other, trying to make your next class on time. Since your classes are scheduled back-to-back, you haven’t had time to eat. It’s three o’clock and you’re extremely hungry. This week, you’ve got three midterms to study for, a work-study job to hold down and a backlog of 300 pages to read. You’re meeting with a chemistry group tonight to finish work on a rushed research presentation. Too bad you’ve also got three other assignments due tomorrow, so it looks like you won’t be getting much sleep tonight. You’ll need to grab some energy drinks on the way home…
I feel anxious even just reading that and can recall those days in a heartbeat. So should we just let it take its’ course? Or do we step in to help?
It’s hard to know for sure, but following your instincts is the first step. Fact: Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of deaths in college-aged students.
So maybe reaching out to help is quite reasonable. Stress is real. And can be dangerous. Even temporary stress can cause anxiety, which can cause depression, which will create a lack of productivity, and self worth.
The good news is that with a little support they can find immediate relief!
Finding the underlying cause will help in deciding if they need professional counseling or if they simply need organizational tools to help accomplish life/school balance and techniques that offer new perspectives on how to manage stress and anxiety.
Make time to talk to your son/daughter even if it seems like they don’t want to talk. Reach out to their RA, advisor, Sports Coach, or anyone that directly can affect them during the day. Find out what is really going on and then take action. Help…is just around the corner.
If they feel overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety all day long, find a counselor or advisor they can talk to weekly. If they feel like that isn’t the place for them, suggest a Life Coach, someone who they can talk to weekly, touch base with daily and help them reinterpret life as it is coming at them. The small investment you make in hiring a Coach will be one that improves the quality of their life forever as they learn coping mechanisms that can be accessed anytime.
Within just 3 sessions, students with a Life Coach have reported feeling happier, more in control, more productive and less stressed out. That is a great place to start!
Maybe it is time to step in and help.