While stress is a normal part of life for all of us, for college students the changes brought about by the first year of college may cause uncomfortable levels of stress. Most students handle the experience fairly well, but for some, the stress becomes significant and begins to impact their quality of life. For example, stress lowers college students’ resistance to various illnesses.
Below are some things parents should look for if they suspect their student might be struggling with stress.
• Headache, stomach upset, and muscle aches
• Increased heart rate
• Anxiety, irritability, negativity, tearfulness
• Mood swings
• Feeling insecure
• Inability to concentrate
• Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
• Increased use of alcohol or drugs
• Relationship conflicts
While these symptoms don’t necessarily mean that a student is clinically depressed, parents should not hesitate to encourage their student to go to Counseling Services if they are concerned about their student’s emotional health.
Information taken from:
Mullendore, R., & Banahan, L. (2007). Empowering Parents of First-Year College Students: A Guide for Success. National Orientation Directors Association (NODA) and National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition. University of South Carolina.