Survey Says College Freshmen are Stressed, Depressed

Freshman Stress
Something to keep in mind as your kids go off to school this year: College freshmen are more stressed than ever before, according to an annual survey that began collecting data from students 25 years ago.The New York Times reported that the percentage of freshmen that rated their emotional health as “below average” rose, while the percentage of students who rated it as “above average” fell to 52 percent.  When the researchers began collecting data in 1985, 64 percent of freshmen rated their health “above average.”

Researchers believe the unusually low ratings of emotional health are in part due to the economy and stress from the pressures in high school.

Campus counselors say the report mirrors what they are actually seeing: Students who are stressed, depressed and using psychiatric medication that was prescribed to them even before coming to college.  The freshmen have watched their parents struggling in the poor economy and worry about their own likelihood of success when they graduate.

“More students are arriving on campus with problems, needing support, and today’s economic factors are putting a lot of extra stress on college students, as they look at their loans and wonder if there will be a career waiting for them on the other side,” said Brian Van Brunt, director of counseling at Western Kentucky University and president of the American College Counseling Association.

The survey “The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010″ collected data from 200,000 incoming full-time students at four-year colleges.

Click here to read more from the New York Times.