College life can be both mentally taxing and fruitful at the same time. College life is that phase in an individual’s life where they undergo a sea of mixed emotions and need to fight through this emotional turmoil to emerge as a stronger personality, ready to face the world with a sane mind. Having said that, it is important that mental health issues in college students be timely identified and steps be taken to preserve their health before they become too mentally debilitating for them to handle as they are the future leaders to be and colleges must strive to create a learning environment rather pushing them towards mental retardation.
The prevalent issues of anxiety, depression, addiction, suicide and eating disorders are growing concerns in today’s youth which may lead to more severe conditions of the mind like being driven to self-injury or developing a bipolar disorder, Psychotic Disorders/Schizophrenia, ADHD and sleep-related issues.
What causes this stress to build up in the minds of college students? The transition to college life can be challenging, with the academic workload, parental pressure, financial liability of returning student loans coupled with social media chipping away at the remnants of mental peace that is left after a student struggles to prove his mettle. This ‘mental health crisis’ has become such a dilemma that a survey carried out in the Spring 2014 National College Health Assessment, 33% students reporting feeling depressed in the past year such that their productivity was being hampered. 55% reporting feeling overwhelmed with anxiety, 87% feeling overburdened with pressing responsibilities and 9% being so mentally exhausted that they had considered committing suicide.
This has been such a pressing issue that a term representative of this crisis also exists known as College Student Mental Health Crisis (CSMHC). The question that arises is what is causing this condition to prevail in college students? As we teach our teenagers to be financially independent, these frugal habits pass on to their college days and help them secure a stable future. However, the increasing pressure on students these days has been amplified by the fact that social media has created a false perception of success and everyone is in a struggle to surpass each other.
The talent-hungry market scenario and highly competitive times have made college students take undue pressure on themselves and as they strive to gain academic excellence they are additionally burdened with making ends meet and being financially stable enough to support their educational costs. Social media needs to stop shaping people’s perception about intelligence, proficiency, self-sufficiency, academic and professional success and the various parameters that shape our lives.