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Attending college is all about experiencing new things, dealing with changes and facing challenges. All this can be exciting, but it can also result in a good deal of stress.

  • In fact, stress can be defined as an emotional, intellectual and physical reaction to change or demands.
  • Stress is the way our bodies prepare themselves to react to situations that are new - threatening or otherwise.

As a college student, you are facing changes and challenges almost daily. Dealing with roommates, keeping up with academic demands, and maintaining a social life are just some of the ways that being a student can be both very exciting and very stressful. Dealing effectively with stress while in college may be as important as doing well academically or having a lot of friends. In fact, if you don't cope with stress well, being successful academically or having a good social life may be down right impossible.

Common Symptoms of Stress
  • Crying more than usual
  • Irritability
  • Fidgety and restless
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Problems sleeping
  • Feeling overly sensitive (touchy)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Unusual physical complaints


Top Stressors For Students
So what causes stress in University of Minnesota students?

According to the 2001 Student Health Assessment Survey, 10.5% of University of Minnesota students reported experiencing three or more stressors in the past 12 months.

Top stressors for students include:

  • Serious physical illness (15.4%)
  • Death of someone close to you (14%)
  • Termination of a long personal relationship (14%)
  • Excessive credit card debt (12.8%)
  • Failing a class (8.2%)
Furthermore, tobacco users, binger drinkers, and students who engage in other drug use were found to have a higher average of stressors than non-users.
Stress can also lead to bouts of depression or anxiety in students. According to the 2001 Student Health Assessment Survey, 28% of students feel sad or depressed at least once per week and 43.2% of students feel worried, anxious, and nervous at least once a week.