College is supposed to be the best time of your life, right? It can be, but college can also come with some stress: keeping up with homework and exams, adjusting to being away from home, competing in collegiate-level sports, money concerns, and dealing with social pressures, to name a few.
But if you’re struggling with stress and anxiety in college, you’re not alone. According to the American College Health Association, roughly 22% of college students said anxiety had affected their academic performance, and 30% of college students said stress had affected their academic performance in the past 12 months.
And while it can be difficult to admit that your college dreams aren’t living up to what you expected, there are ways to get back on track — and start really enjoying the experience.
If you’re starting to feel underwater, even slightly, be empowered to reach out for help. Here’s how.
Campus health clinic
Don’t wait until you’re feeling overloaded to head to your university’s health center. Nowadays, 58% of four-year colleges offer mental health services. Your campus health clinic may have a team dedicated to mental health and personal counseling and might offer counseling, therapy, and peer support options, or they may refer you to other local resources.
Talk with a trained professional about what you can do to offset the stresses you’re feeling — no matter how big or small.
Clubs and organizations
Sometimes it can feel good to talk with someone who is on your level, going through exactly what you’re going through (or is now on the other side after having gone through it). Many colleges offer clubs and organizations that will support students in need. For example, Active Minds and NAMI on Campus are two groups that have presences on many college campuses.
Not only will these groups be invaluable resources, they’ll also provide a lifelong network that you can fall back on after you graduate.