Effects of Stress on College Students


Stress is anything that poses a challenge or a threat to the normal activity of the body of an individual. In this case, normal activity of an individual includes the peace of the mind, normal execution of daily responsibilities, and healthy interaction with other people. Similarly, stress is anything that can cause negative effects on an individual’s well-being.

Recent research indicates a rising level of stress and its consequences among students, especially in colleges. Student life is a period in the lifespan of a youth, when they wish to make experiment, discover life issues, and live it to the full. Thus, any activity that proves to be demanding to them will result in stress. Students experience immense levels of stress in schools. However, the lack of stress management skills among these students increases the number of stressful cases. Thus, the consequences are frustrated efforts by school managers to manage stress in schools. Consequently, this initiates efforts by the school management to control stress effects among students (Humphrey 20).

Causes of Stress among Students

Several issues contribute to stressing moments for the college students. They could be academic or domestic. The factors range from the working conditions of the school environment to the family background of the students. Each of these factors affects students in different ways, though the majority of the effects are interrelated.

Poor relationship between parents and children has contributed massively to stress among college students. Parents often differ in terms of the expectations that they have on children, and preferences of children at the college level. Apparently, during the teenage years, students tend to be defiant to any person, including their parents. When parents reject wishes of their children, they feel that their parents are being unfair, which induces stress.

The problems in family settings have negative effects on college students. Students suffering from stress are highly prone to forgetting things at a high rate. This happens because of the distraction that such a student gets as a result of stressful events in their life at school or home. Such student fails to capture and store some academic concepts and necessary information. This forgetfulness will also be evident in the final performance and productivity of the student in their academics (Humphrey 34).

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When a student is suffering from stress, there are high chances that such a student will be prone to irritation. The relationship between irritated student and his or her schoolmates and teachers will sour. This will consequently affect the performance and productivity of the student in school. Moreover, worsened relationships with fellow students and friends may result in additional stress, creating the vicious cycle.

Excessive Academic Workloads from Instructors

College programs do not consider the social expectations of college students. The majority of students are not capable of handling numerous assignments and class schedules that certain colleges offer. This frustrates students, which ends up affecting them in different ways (Landow 45).

Colleges offer massive loads of academic work to students. This sudden change in the amount of workload creates destabilization, leading to depressive moments. For instance, when a student is unable to execute an academic assignment successfully, the secretive nature of most students will prevent them from sharing such information with other students or instructors, preferring to keep it to themselves. This causes depression among such students, which consequently affects their academic performance.

Biological Reasons

Biological conditions affect the psychological state of college students immensely. This is because of the permanent nature of some of these conditions. The fact that one has no power over his biological or physical state causes depression and lower self-esteem among college students. Physical deformation prevents college students from interacting freely with others in college for fear of stigmatization. For instance, a student who wets the bed at night will suffer psychological torture and may not share the experience with anyone for the fear of humiliation. Such a form of psychological torture affects the growth, development and self-esteem of young individuals in colleges and high schools (Landow 30).

As a result of stress caused by different conditions, students will be likely to lose concentration. Occasionally, students tend to suffer from distraction, when they experience changes in their normal daily operations. A suitable example is when a student has a disagreement with his parents. This student is likely to lose concentration in class because of the family issue, which will transform into poor performance and low productivity in class (Humphrey 32).

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Lastly, stress eliminates aspects of organization among college students. A student will not be able to execute basic activities such as keeping their room tidy. This relates to the concept of the loss of concentration, making the student lose touch with primary societal needs.


Stressing moments will always come in the lives of everyone, and how people deal with them will determine the impact of those moments on individuals. Education and training on stress management skills is essential in colleges in the modern society. Students need to learn how to cope with different life situations that cause stress. The possession of these skills will massively reduce the consequences of stress on college students.