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Common Causes of Stress in College Students

Multiple polls and surveys taken over the last ten years show that college students deal with a tremendous amount of stress on a daily basis.

Multiple polls and surveys taken over the last ten years show that college students deal with a tremendous amount of stress on a daily basis. Most often, there are, typically various sources of stress with the most significant being the "Money" factor.

Data available also show that a College student has a very high likelihood of dropping out of school if one of their parents lost their job or was not able to provide for them, financially. Over 50% of college students live with the fear of not finding a suitable job after graduation.

It would appear that University students, these days deal with far more stress than students in previous years, and the issue keeps getting worse. Other studies have shown a substantial increase in stress-related health issues. These increases can take a toll on one’s health in a major way, not to mention the issue of falling grades and test scores.


Different University students deal with stress differently. Some use stress as a source of motivation, causing them to excel. Others panic at the sign of stress. We all have various reasons and causes of stress. Here are a few university students face:

  • Living with strangers

  • Exams

  • Romantic relationships

  • Grade performance

  • Heavy course loads


When students are exposed to stress, or stressful situations, they deal with series of physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive reactions. Different people respond to stress differently. Below are a few of the symptoms that can be caused by stress:

  • Increased heart rate

  • Loneliness

  • Unhappiness

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Drug abuse

  • Sleeplessness


Tight School Schedule

University and college students typically feel overwhelmed with the sheer number of commitments they’ve made. Learn to say “no” to some non-essential engagements to loosen your schedule and get some rest.

Take rest and eating seriously. Try to surround yourself with people who will respect your time and allow you to be alone sometimes.

TardinessIt can be challenging to get to class on time, especially if you are not a morning person. Getting to class late can have a negative impact on your overall performance. You can alleviate the stress of always getting to class late by regulating your sleep cycle, getting to bed early and getting up early to allow plenty of time to get to class.

If you’re having trouble getting to sleep before class, try relaxing activities such as meditation or gradual muscle relaxation before sleeping.


University Students often work while in school in order to keep up with high school fees and living expenses. However, many student jobs come with low wages. If you’re struggling economically, try to find ways to cut cost or seek a low interest loan that you can pay back after graduation.


Stress can cause people to lash out aggressively. Students who are continually in conflict with roommates or significant others should pursue conflict mediation with campus counselors.

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