According to a “State of the Student” report by Chegg, 60% of college students say they are anxious “frequently” or “all the time.” The sources of worry range from finances and futures to gun violence and sexual assault.
In a survey of 1,000 students across a range of demographics and colleges, 66% say they cannot comfortably afford housing at their college, 68% frequently worry over their futures, 66% worry there will be an incident of gun violence on campus, and only 42% are confident that their school’s administration adequately addresses cases of sexual assault. Despite these stresses, 73% reported feeling optimistic they’ll find a job that can support them after college.
“College students are facing many of the same pressures that adults face. They’re stressed by work and finance, plus they deal with the additional urgency of fitting in socially,” said Dan Rosensweig, president and CEO of Chegg, in a statement. “That may not seem particularly new, but today’s complex economic, political, social and tech-dominated landscape has accentuated the tension and burden students feel.”
Chegg’s study found 73% of students work while in school, while 34% find it challenging or impossible to afford food. Forget partying: nearly two-thirds of students say they’ve pulled an all-nighter studying, while only one-fourth said they’ve spent that time partying.
Social adjustment causes worry, alongside finances and academics. The survey found 43% of students reported feeling “very lonely” at college; for LGBTQ students, this number was even higher at 61%. More than half of all students reported feeling “very sad or depressed” at college.
Political stress is immensely divided along party lines: 73% of Republican students believe the country is going in the right direction, while only 24% of Democratic students feel this is true.
Exactly half of Hispanic students are worried someone they know personally will be deported.
All of these stresses can pile on top of developing or preexisting mental health issues, affecting students’ ability to focus on their school work. According to the American Psychological Association, a rising number of students are seeking help at their university counseling centers for “serious mental health problems.”
Chegg’s survey, however, found that 63% of students say they have never used their college’s mental-health resources, or were unaware of their existence.