Student anxiety levels increase
Going off to university or college is a major life step, often involving leaving home for the first time, and it is proving to be increasingly difficult for young people. More students are reporting anxiety at the start of their course than before, according to figures reported by universities. The combination of moving, gaining independence but also responsibilities, making new friends and coping with work levels can be extremely challenging. There are bound to be worries and problems with these changes, but if they are becoming overwhelming there is help at all institutions.
Anxiety impacts on our health and our performance: it causes worrying or fear, poor sleep and lack of concentration, among many other symptoms. If you have suffered from anxiety before you go to university it can get worse once you get there. Some students worry about family problems at home that they are not able to help with.
If you, or your child, find that you are getting anxious - seek out counselling help from the support services at your university or college. There will be trained people who can help you to talk about difficulties and get worries into perspective: to tackle problems at home or college, to get organised for studies and to challenge negative thoughts that so often tell us we can’t cope or aren’t good enough.
Activity can help alleviate anxiety and university is a time to try out new sports and clubs. Apart from benefitting from the exercise these activities can engage you (a diversion from worrying) and also help you make new friends. It might help to remind yourself that most of the other students are in the same boat and will be worried, even if they put on a brave face. And try to find time for relaxation, join classes that help you to learn this.
This is a time in your life to learn and have adventures, so get help to keep anxiety in its place.
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About Sandra Hewett
Sandra Hewett is a qualified and experienced counsellor and trained coach. She gained an FdA in Humanistic Counselling from Greenwich University in 2011 and she is a student counsellor at Guildford College in Surrey. She works in private practice and also offers career and interview coaching.