Stress! A word that reminds one of an unpleasant feeling caused due to different pressures. Many have talked on this topic whether in regard to work, home or personal life. However, there haven’t been many who noticed the stress that students usually go through when the school to college transition takes place.
It’s Stress Awareness Month and today we hope to identify the stress that a student has to go through when s/he is heading to take his/her first step towards his/her future career and help them suggesting them to deal with it.
It is at this time of their lives when they have to move out of their comfort zones. School, a second home to students makes it difficult for them to adjust to the environment of a College, considering it is a whole new ball game.
Some of the main causes of stress in students moving from school to college are as follows;
Fear of the New
A new set of stressors and anxiety follow when College life begins. A change in the environment after the disciplined and pampered school life leads to anxiety in students. A whole new type of syllabus and semester system confuses students and they find it hard to cope with study load. Students, who choose to study outside of their hometowns, face the fear of change and transition more than those who choose to study in their own hometown.
Usually, a student expects his/her college life to be the “perfect college life” and credit for that should go to fanciful songs and movies. Many times, students are misguided by unrealistic possibilities that are too good to be real. This preconceived notion of college is all fun and no studies lead students to experience depressive tendencies. When the hopes of a certain lifestyle are not met, the consequences are stress and anxiety.
Not Feeling Enough
With college, comes the hidden desire to feel accepted by everyone. For instance, the rule of wearing uniforms to educational institutions is left behind and students have to deal with the struggle of wearing “appropriate” and “cool” attires. Broader problems include body shaming, comparison, discrimination for not able to speak English and consistent low grades. This causes negative stress among students and they develop low self-esteem, eating disorders and helplessness.
Some ways for students to deal with stress are:
- To start accepting that they are in stress and take measures to deal with it. From identifying symptoms to self-care techniques, one can easily get away with stress.
- Consider indulging in organic remedial measures like exercise, balanced diet, and meditation. That will help them divert their negative thoughts for a while (PS- they also qualify as self-care techniques).
- Instead of not going to college and avoiding social interactions, they should try attending and participating in college activities. This way they can learn more about your college mates and college culture better.
- Avoid comparing themselves to their school mates. Others might have secured admission in a different college but that does not assure them a stress-free college life. One should always remember that everyone has a different journey and what works for one may not work for others.
- It is possible that they are persuaded by particular courses and might think of enrolling for the same but before taking any decision, one should be confident of oneself. They should take full responsibility for their decisions and only go for the course if they think they can manage it.
- Best way to avoid unexpected stress is to approach people who are studying or have completed the course that they wish to pursue. That will provide them with some concrete idea of how it will look like.
- They may also blame their parents for pushing them to take admission in a course/college against their will but that blame game cannot go on forever. They should talk it out with them from the start and make them aware of their interests and aspirations.
Stress usually arises when students leave it all for the last minute. One should start researching about the availability of the course they want to pursue, cut-offs of the same and admission procedure required for it beforehand.
The transition to college can be overwhelming for students, but it can also be an opportunity for positive change and growth. The times are changing as colleges are gradually becoming aware of the poor mental health and have been taking deliberate steps towards curing it. From introducing counselling rooms to encouraging practical learning, they are leaving no stone unturned to assure stress-free learning.