Crashing and Burning in College: Understanding the Mental Challenges Faced by Students
It’s no secret that college students are under a lot of stress, especially during the first year. But sometimes stress that seems normal is actually a sign of deeper struggles. In fact, a recent study found that one in three freshman students had mental health struggles.
It can be difficult to recognize whether your child is dealing with mental health issues. Acknowledging and understanding these issues can also be challenging. If you’re worried about your child and the pressure they may be facing in college, we can help.
We’re going to cover some important information about college students and mental challenges. We’ll tell you some reasons your child may be struggling at college and how you can help. Read on to learn more about the plight of the stressed college student.
Students Today Don’t See Value in Downtime
If you’re wondering why your child is so much more stressed out than you were in college, you aren’t alone. Many parents and other adults don’t quite understand the stress of students today. But a lot of it stems from the fact that today’s students don’t place a priority on rest or relaxation.
Many students feel that they have to be productive during all waking hours. And with smartphones and tablets, it’s easy to always be “on” and doing something. You can encourage your child to take breaks with exercise, time outside, or time with friends.
Your Child May Not Have Strong Coping Skills to Deal With Mental Challenges
It’s important to realize that college being tough – especially during the first year – is typical. Mental challenges and stress are common with any transition. For college kids who don’t have the right coping skills, the transition can be even harder. Their grades may suffer; they may be placed on academic probation.
You may not think you were a helicopter parent, but we encourage you to rethink things. All parents want to protect their children, but sometimes they over-protect and over-indulge. Help your child develop and learn coping skills now, so they can grow and thrive in college and beyond.
Digital Technology Makes it Harder to Connect with Others
We mentioned how technology can prevent your child from shutting down and taking a break. But technology can also be getting in the way of your child making meaningful connections with peers. Living their lives online has actually led many young people to feel very lonely.
Your child may need to trade their online social time for socializing in real life. Spending time with others sharing similar experiences can be therapeutic. Encourage your child to spend more time with their peers and college friends in person.
How to Help Your Child and Promote Mental Wellness
Mental challenges can encompass more than the struggles of college life. We understand you want to help your child improve and maintain their mental health at all stages. We’re proud to offer a wealth of advice and tips.
Browse our blog for guidance on helping your child manage their mental health. Learn about disordered eating, dealing with the trauma of loss, and more. Whether you have a young child, teen, or young adult in college, you’re sure to find valuable advice here.