College life starts after high school life but it is quite different. In fact, many students admit they didn’t think college life will be so difficult and more stressful as compared to high school life. Thus, it is not surprising that almost all college provides counseling services to students to deal with a variety of issues that result in stress and if remain unchecked, may impose huge costs on the student’s long term physical and mental wellbeing. It is important to realize that stress is not caused by a single factor but there are several sources of stress some of which are more common than the others.
One of the major sources of stress in university is assignments which are not only quite frequent but also more difficult and time-consuming than those in high school. The problem is that students in any course rarely take all classes together and some may have much more assignments in other courses they are taking. The stress from assignments also becomes more serious because students also have to manage things they didn’t have to worry about in high school such as job and miscellaneous tasks like laundry.
Another major source of stress in university is exams. Like assignments, tests and exams are also more frequent and more difficult. Students also have to cover more material for exams in university as compared to high school. It is also difficult to predict when tests and exams may be held as many professors go for surprise tests as well. Grades are more important in university than high school due to their impact on future job prospects which only adds to exam-related stress among students.
University students are also more likely to be in serious relationships as opposed to casual friendships when compared to high school students. On top of this, time becomes more valuable in university life because it is so busy and lack of time spent with each other often leads to quarrels and fights. Like many of my university fellow students as well as friends, I know this from personal experience. Relationship-related stress is higher than friendship-related stress because both partners have invested lot of time and energy in the relationship. Thus, any tension results in high levels of stress which may even affect focus on studies and at job.
University life also leads to high levels of stress because even though life is harder in university, students have weaker support network especially due to the absence of family members. One of the most effective tools against stress is seeking support from friends and family. University students sometimes also hesitate to seek help because they think it will present themselves as weak adults. Thus, hesitation to seek help is one of the major sources of stress crisis in universities.
Students in university are more in touch with the outside world than high school students because they expect to enter real world soon so try to learn about it as much as possible. Thus, any disappointing news such as struggling economy is more likely to cause stress among university students than high school students for whom career is a distant worry.
It is clear that university life is harder whether assignments, exams, or managing personal relationships. On the other hand, students don’t have as strong support network as they had in high school. The result is a higher stress levels. The issue becomes worse because university students are sometimes hesitant to seek help due to personal pride.