These days the college is not associated with the same “wild” experience as it used to be with parties all night long and a carefree lifestyle. Due to higher competition for jobs, a higher rate of unemployment, pressing costs of getting a university degree and new social media standards of what successful students should be like, it becomes highly stressful for students to pursue their studies today. In the news reports, we stumble quite often upon the necessity of psychological help on campus and a requirement for a help hotline to assist students during their hard times. Therefore, stress has become one of the biggest problems during university times!
College Students Stress Statistics
- One of leading causes of stress among college students is whether they can afford the running educational costs. Textbooks are one of the major expenditures at college. In 2013 the textbooks costed each student around $1190!
- Student surveys show that 52% of college freshmen think they are in the top 10% of mentally stable people in their class. Around 25 years ago this proportion was closer to 70%.
Expensive Tuition Costs
Probably the highest stress for college students is caused by the price of tuition fees. Every year it is rising higher and higher! University statistics shows that its inflation is disproportionate to the consumer price index and increases by around 8% every year. In order to afford their studies, US college students have to take out bank loans and the average student loan debt at graduation averages out to $30,000. Although students will start paying out these loans only upon reaching a certain salary threshold, the anticipation of these enormous payments is what places a huge stress on students’ shoulders.
Running Educational Costs
Some other costs besides tuition fees that can place a burden on students are associated with food, textbooks, technology and various licence payments, boarding.
- Food: it constitutes an essential expenditure in your budget. You cannot avoid it! Taking into account that you need to be careful with money but at the same time stay healthy and eat well, it can be tricky! Moreover, recent reports about the spreading of GMO in industrial agriculture and their serious negative impact on our health add to students’ anxiety when they are trying to survive on a budget! Our advice to you: frequent to a local fresh food market to buy some bio veggies and fruits at a fraction of the cost in comparison to the bio produce in the supermarket.
- Textbooks: it is painfully expensive to buy textbooks nowadays! Depending on your course of studies, you might need to spend between $500 and $3,000 per year! One of the solutions is to do some research among former students in the same university who have purchased these books already and who might be willing to sell them at a discount price. Also you can consider buying used textbooks and save 20% to 50% off the original price!
- Tech and Licences: Depending on your course of studies, you might need to purchase specific software like AutoCad, Revit etc. These are very expensive programs and normally they require a renewal every year. The good thing is that quite often there is a student version available for this kind of software which means you can purchase it for the duration of your studies at a significant discount. You should definitely benefit from such an offer!
- Room Boarding: After tuition fees, this is the second biggest worry for a student since it causes a serious amount of effort to find a decent room at an affordable price. For freshmen it is particularly important because it is in residence halls that they tend to make first college friends! Our advice is to start early: once you have received a confirmation letter from your college with an offer, go quickly to their website and browse all the dorm options available there. The earlier you start, the more possibilities you will have to choose from! We advise you to search the dorm closer to the university building where you will have your classes so that you can save money on travelling and have more time for waking up in the morning!
In order to relieve the stress about all the running costs during the semester it might be worth taking on a part-time job. In such a way you will feel calm about paying your rent or getting a pint of beer in the local pub!
The Role of Social Media
Today it is difficult to imagine our life without social media. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook… they all transmit messages and images that form our idea about what we should be aiming for and how we should look like. Very often all these ideas are in conflict in relation to what we really want to do: as a result we suffer from stress, low self-esteem and anxiety! What is important to realise for every student out there is that these beautiful images are just a picture and they have nothing to do with the real life of even a person who posted them! So do not try to hide yourself behind a perfect façade, be yourself, make your own mistakes – fall down – brush yourself off and try again! This will help you to discover the true yourself and will let you live in harmony ever after.