Stress: Effects of Stress on College Students

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Stress is when someone instinctively responds to change. Regardless of whether if the stress is good or bad, many will experience it at some point in their lives. At least once a year a stressful event will happen to 75 percent of college students. Three types of stress that effect college students are: physical, mental, and behavioral. If these types continue, stress can cause lifelong effects among college students.

One of the earliest outcomes of stress is the physical effects that college students will feel. Headaches, insomnia, and mood swings are common physical side effects. Some students may also experience chest and stomach pain, nausea, and fatigue. Many college students may ignore these physical symptoms if stress is unmanaged. As a result, diabetes, heart problems, and high blood pressure are some chronic illnesses that can develop over time. Many of the chronic illnesses are lifelong and will negatively impact physical health.

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Effects of stress on college students can cause various mental health issues. Harvard Medical School did a survey with at least 100 colleges on more than 67,000 students combined. This survey was published on September 10th, 2018 to show the effects of stress found in college students from many life issues. Out of every 5 students surveyed, 1 once had or currently had a mental disorder or suicidal thoughts within the past year. Rates of self-harm were also high, which was around 20% of the students surveyed. If poor mental health is not treated, these disorders and emotions may stay with a student for the rest of their life. This can affect future life decisions, such as career, marriage, living, etc.

Stress can cause behavioral change because they effect students’ ability to be successful. They can cause students to become more angry, annoyed, and introverted. As a result, a man named Douglas Carlson wrote that college students are more likely to bully others and break campus rules. Carlson also stated, “Their focus on anger may cause overall work to suffer”. Often, grades in college will drop because students will change their behavior to no longer care about them. In the future, the college students with bad grades might fail classes, drop out, or not graduate. As adults, these former college students are unable to get a good career due to lack of education.

College campuses worldwide must face the problem of stress among students. Millions of students suffer from stress, and it will only get worse if more work and unrealistic expectations are placed. Colleges can create or trigger more stress to students already affected. There should be more resources, classes, or programs provided to stressed college students. If this occurs, the number of future adults effected will decrease. Students who receive these benefits can also be more successful in life and teach others what they have learned. 

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