You might often hear people saying that years spent at a university or college will definitely be the best time in your life. And, being young and naive we sometimes lose sight of how difficult and complex studying may be, just as much as it reflects on our emotional stability.
And we still believe this statement, right until we have our first sleepless night over textbooks and lecture notes revising for a test. Then studying becomes even more frustrating, assignments mount up faster and faster and it seems like you cannot control it anymore. Frustration and stress began to affect you.
Then, you start feeling depressed. And here where you face the actual problem: you’re suffering from emotional distress.
Behind all that talk about how great college years are hides the truth: many college students suffer from mental health issues. A study conducted at the colleges of New Delhi, where the number of students is much higher compared to U.S. colleges and universities, has shown that more than a half of respondents had emotional stability issues.
Another study conducted at 26 U.S. university campuses has shown that 17% of all respondents suffered from depression, 4% had frequent panic attacks, 7% experienced anxiety and 6.3% had suicidal thoughts. So the facts are clear enough: the majority of students suffer from emotional distress followed by severe mental health issues.
But what actually triggers these issues? What are the signs of becoming emotionally fragile? And more importantly, how can you cope with the factors of emotional fragility? Based on the most credible sources of information, we’ve prepared for you 10 major factors of emotional distress and how to cope with them.
Factors of Emotional Distress
Harvard Medical School often issues so-called health letters. And one of them was devoted to in-depth study of the effects of sleep deprivation on mental health. It stated that while occasional lack of sleep can barely do any harm, constant sleep deprivation brings along horrible consequences to your emotional stability: up to 90% of young adults suffer from severe depression, anxiety and panic attacks, which leads to a bipolar disorder.
Well, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder can seem a long-term perspective, and you probably think that it won’t happen to you. You think that you’re too young to experience all that, but don’t be so confident.
The bottom line is that your body and brain recharge during sleep and cannot function properly when you depriving yourself of sleep. As a result, you easily get aggressive and annoyed, your concentration suffers. And next minute you’re having a panic attack. Think about it.
Do you delay things up until the last minute? Are you trying to multitask? Does your work keep piling up? If even reading about it gets you stressed out then you should definitely pull yourself together.
Poor organization is the most common issue experienced by the majority of students. After all, you’re young and you want to have fun, not to spend so many hours over that annoying homework. But what may seem harmless today may affect you tomorrow.
Tonight you’re partying with your friends, and next night you’re sitting over a pile of homework, depriving yourself of sleep and freaking out about the lack of time. Ever experienced that?
As a student, you’re always on the run. It seems that you don’t have time for anything, especially for eating properly.
It is well-known that we’re getting the whole range of vitamins from the food we’re eating to help out body function properly. However, not only our physical health depends on healthy diet, but our mind also needs that vitamin fuel. And what vitamins can you find in coffee, chips and other junk food you eat when you’re having a break between classes?
Slowly, you start feeling that you cannot concentrate properly, you get a headache more often and even experience mood swings. These are the signs of poor eating. Your body and mind are under stress and cannot cope with this state without proper diet.
Trying to get into the best scholarship programs? Want to enroll on the best internships? As a student, you experience a lot of competition, whether you’re doing your best to apply for some programs or just want to get the best grade in the class.
Competition among fellow students is a common thing. What’s worse is that teacher often fuel this competition by choosing their favorite students and praising them, while others stay unnoticed. Consequently, if you feel left out because your teacher doesn’t want to notice you, you start to stress out and try to work more. And that’s where you meet your first panic attack.
Your brain cannot take all the information you’re trying to put in it. Our brain and memory have their own limits too.
We’re talking here not about proper organization, but about how our brain functions. If we strain our brains too much, it can weaken the connection between neurons, which then leads to lack of concentration, poor motivation and productivity.
The balance between social relationships and studying is important for your emotional stability. If you’re going through a bad breakup or constantly arguing with your friends, because you don’t have time for them, these are pure examples of social tension.
In order to feel calm and self-possessed, you need total order in everything, including social relationships. Otherwise, you start feeling like everything is falling apart.
Humans are social beings, and it’s important for us to maintain relationships with our friends and family in order to prevent ourselves from mental health issues. So if you’ve just got lost in a pile of homework, ditching your friends and family, soon you’ll start feeling lost and depressed, and these are common signs of upcoming depression.
For some students, when they face the reality of monthly and yearly college loan payments, their finances become the real issue. For sure, nothing can beat you down harder than lack of finances.
The situation becomes even worse if you get no financial help from your parents and have to pay your college loans back by yourself. This means you have to get a full-time job and pair your studying with fulfilling your job responsibilities. For sure, it is really hard to handle, and that’s why lots of students drop out from colleges and universities every year.
We all know how expensive studying at university or in college is. And if you’re handling it by yourself, this is another stress factor that causes emotional fragility among students. For a young person, this kind of responsibility is just so hard to handle that you inevitably face stress and emotional meltdown.
Poor time management
Inability to cope with the deadlines is so common among students. This is where sleeping disorders and general health problems come from.
We already know, what sleep deprivation can do to us, but this is only one of those things caused by poor time management. Anxiety, mood swings, and depression come hand in hand with lack of time, especially if you also have to work to provide for yourself.
This is one of the most widespread causes of severe depression, not only among college students. If you’re feeling like you’re not good enough for something, you’re slowly dragging yourself down the path of stress, depression, and anxiety.
If you have competition at class, having poor self-esteem will beat you down every time you get bad grades. It starts eating you from the inside and can actually cause serious mental problems. And contrary to what some people might believe, poor self-esteem is not always your fault. It can be caused by some social factors that should be dealt with immediately.
Lack of motivation
Some students often realize that they’ve picked the wrong major after a couple of years spent at the desk. Some of them give in and change their major to follow their dreams, and some stay either to satisfy the desires of their parents or to escape from judgment.
We all know that doing the things we don’t like can instantly kill motivation. Moreover, wrong choices will haunt us for the rest of our days. So think about it before you make the wrong choice just to comply with what other people might think about it.
Signs of Emotional Distress
So what can you do to prevent emotional fragility?
Sleep deprivation: how to avoid
It’s all about proper planning. Once you figure out that you can actually effectively use every minute of the day, you’ll get the motivation to make your day as efficient as possible.
Another thing you need to remember is proper sleep hygiene. Sleeping is like a ritual: you need to prepare for it properly. Alcohol and other bad habits can influence the quality of your sleep. And remember that when you’re preparing to go to sleep, cut down all the distractions: turn off your phone, close the curtains and try to calm down.
Poor organization: how to be a productivity machine
There are so many planners and great organizational stationary for all tastes! And if it’s not working for you, use your creativity and figure out what would be working for you better. Proper organization is all about personal approach. And remember: organization and planning are skills that everyone can learn. There’s nothing impossible here.
Poor eating: how to make a better choice
It’s simpler than it looks like: instead of buying yourself some junk food, try replacing it with fruits and vegetables. For sure, when you’re a student, you’re always on the run. But instead of grabbing a greasy sandwich, try to eat a fruit salad, when you’re having a break. And if you’ve become too hung up on coffee, remember that there’s enough caffeine in green tea. And it’s even better for you than coffee. It’s all about what you choose.
Remember: you should do everything that others do. If some of your classmates are trying to get an internship at Ralph Lauren, it doesn’t mean that you should get the same thing. You have to understand that you need to follow your passion in life. And you definitely should prove somebody that you can be successful.
Now, it seems like it’s beyond your power to control a number of tasks you have to do. But what you can do is plan them properly. Again, it’s all about planning. If you do it right, you may have to get some free time for yourself eventually.
Another thing is when you’re trying to enroll in too many classes and eventually don’t have time for any of them. Decide what’s right for you.
You shouldn’t lock yourself in your room and devote your life only to studying. Otherwise, you’ll inevitably face the anger of your friends and family. They’ll feel left out and naturally, will blame you for that. Remember that eventually, you’ll graduate, but good relationships with friends and family will stay forever. So try to find some time for them in your busy schedule. They will appreciate it.
What you need here is proper financial planning here as well. This is the issue which requires a lot of attention and caring attitude. Try to search for some scholarship programs to help you out. And don’t keep it a private matter. If you struggle to earn money to pay for college, talk to your professors and other executive people. They might offer you something.
Poor time management
Get yourself a cool deadline calendar or create your own. Scheduling your activities will help you track deadlines so you don’t miss anything.
Here’s where you need help from a professional. With a psychologist, you can work out all the causes of your self-esteem issues and actually figure a way out of this. If you can’t deal with it yourself, it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.
Lack of motivation
This is all about you making the right choice. Remember that you should pursue what you really love. Only this way you’ll not get frustrated over lack of motivation.
Years at college can be really stressful. But if you do everything right from the start, you’ll avoid all that unpleasant experience. Remember that your physical and emotional stability is more important than anything. And if you already feel that something’s wrong, don’t hide it and ask for help. Colleges often offer student counseling.
Besides, you can always talk to your parents and family. All you need is their support and understanding. Look after yourself and stay positive. The positive attitude will get you through even the hardest times.