What Causes Student Stress and How to Avoid it in College


According to the American Psychological Association, 61% of college students in the U.S. report some form of anxiety and seek counseling, while 49% of them report depression as their main symptom of stress manifestation. This is getting serious and we should definitely pay more attention to what is going on both on college campuses and around us. These increasing statistics should raise question marks and exclamation points for all of us. Mental health is too important to be neglected.

Today’s article will discuss the stress factors related to student success and provide a few quick tips on how to feel better.

Some of the common causes of stress, as assessed by psychologists, include:

  • Too many deadlines and upcoming exams
  • Too much homework
  • A lack of time-management and organizational skills
  • Not enough time to relax
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Failing to participate in class
  • Lack of the necessary support
  • Changes in routine
  • Unhealthy competition
  • Too many parental expectations
  • Social anxiety & homesickness

Don’t feel blue! There are ways to help students cope with these stressful situations, and here are only some of the numerous ones available.


  1. Meditation

One of the best tools to help you cope with depression, anxiety, stress, or any other issue really, is meditation. Developing mindfulness and focus is vital to the world that we are currently living in. Since we are so rushed into finishing everything, constantly running from one place to another, forgetting to eat or breathe, pressing the “stop button” and taking a well-deserved break from all the hustle and bustle is exactly what you need. Recent scientific studies show that meditation reduces inflammation response and improves stress-related conditions such as PTSD or fibromyalgia.

Don’t wait for “the perfect moment” to start. Do it right now! Here are some practical tips for beginners!

  • Start by sitting just for a few minutes, don’t overwhelm yourself. Ten minutes should be enough for a beginner.
  • Do it as soon as you wake up, no questions asked.
  • Pay attention to your breathing when your mind wanders and remember! Your mind wandering is something normal. We’ve all been through that phase.
  • Develop love and kindness through your meditation practice. Practice with intention. Always speak out your intentions.
  • When thoughts or emotions arise, observe them, don’t judge them. Simply let them be and notice how they are affecting you.
  • Start implementing your daily practice in your daily life. Pay more attention to your surroundings, smile more often, be present! Be there when something happens, focus on it, don’t let your mind wander away. Remember! Meditation is only practice for real life matters.
  1. Time-management

Since one of the things that cause stress in our everyday life is time-management, perfecting this quality might be exactly what you need. These are only some of the ways in which you can start improving –

  • Learn to prioritize your tasks from the most to the least important
  • Keep a planner and a well-organized schedule
  • Set up deadlines that can help you finish work on time
  • Don’t develop a procrastinator mentality
  • Turn stress into productivity
  • Start your work early
  • Don’t multitask, take one thing at a time
  • Delegate! If, for instance, you need case study writing help for one of your courses, ask a professional writer to take a look at your assignment. Maybe he can help! There’s no shame in that.
  • Learn how to say no to events, people, distractions, anything that can be detrimental to your on-going work

  1. Exercise

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, learning how to manage stress through mind-body exercise is one of the most efficient coping techniques. Studies show that physical activity improves concentration, reduces anxiety, enhances cognitive function, and improves the ability to sleep. To put in bluntly: the more you exercise, the better you’ll feel; and the better you’ll feel, the less stressed you will become! So hit that gym today, or at least, start meditating!

  1. Better Eating Habits

You simply can’t live on a pre-packed frozen bag of Mac ‘n’ Cheese and a king-size soda cup per day. You can’t, and you shouldn’t. Your body consumes a significant percentage of energy throughout the day. Being stressed will only consume even more of it. If your stress levels are indirectly proportional with your energy intake, you’ll soon collapse!

Eating well is very, very important if you want to stay on top of your work! Eating healthy will help you think more positively! Some of the foods you’ll want to include in your diet are green leafy vegetables (Spinach), protein foods (eggs), nuts, raw fruits, and cooked-starches!

  1. Taking Time for Yourself

Last but not least, do not forget to take breaks. If your body needs it, your mind needs it, your soul needs it, do it, don’t think twice. Even if you have an impressive amount of work waiting to be completed, you won’t be productive if you burnt out. So, take time to heal, to reenergize, to recharge your batteries. You won’t be able to stay on track if you are too stressed anyways. Just leave everything aside for a weekend or two and enjoy your time alone.

Read what you like (not school material!), write in your journal (or start one!), take long, mindful walks, draw, paint, listen to your favorite music, meditate, take salty baths, stretch, LIVE! But whatever you do, stop thinking about school for now, will you?


If you are stressed, some ways to feel better include developing a meditation practice, improving your eating habits, developing new routines, taking adequate time for yourself, and starting exercising!

Author’s Bio:

Robert Everett is a successful life coach whose main purpose is helping people succeed. His research on environmental stress and epigenetics opened up new perspectives in the field of Psychology. Robert also works a part-time job at EduBirdie and self-proclaims himself a “world traveler.”

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.