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The Biggest Causes of Stress in College Students

Hard-time adjusting and new responsibilities as causes of stress in college students

There are many causes of stress in college students that could affect the productivity and success of their studies. Even though many people will agree that the student days were the best time of their lives, everybody had difficulty navigating the transition to that new life chapter. From change of the environment to new obligations, expectations, and social adaptations, you will need to overcome many stressful challenges during your studies. However, finding ways to deal with them will build resilience and resourcefulness, the two most crucial abilities you will need in life.

Adjustment to student life can be hard

Every significant change in our lives can implement stress. Considering that starting your studies will bring new routines and changes of living arrangements, no wonder you might feel anxious. A lot of times, the university is far away from home or even abroad. You sometimes have to share a living space with someone you don't know and live in less comfortable conditions than your home had. Plus, the relocation itself requires a lot of adjustment. First, you will need to plan your time and organize everything properly. To make the whole process easier, start preparing early, checking one after another thing off your list.

Stress caused by financial difficulties

Before college, you probably never had a chance to experience financial independence. But now, you're on your own. Sure, you will have support from your family, a scholarship, or you will have to find a job. But that might not be enough. College costs a lot. You need to pay for the books, fees, commute, tuition, and all kinds of things you never had to worry about before. Balancing out everything might be a burden, so perhaps try engaging in the Federal Work-Study program. It will help cover the education expenses, but also give you some working experience. And the best part of it is that most of the work is related to students' course of study.

Private issues

Everyone experiences stress caused by personal relationships, whether they are family, friends, or romantic partners. But although we are having a hard time, life continues to pressure us to go on, so all the worry and anxiety pile up. Since we can't pause and resume life the way we'd like to, we have to find ways of coping with such stress. Emotions matter, and sometimes it's hard to focus on anything else. However, being honest in your relationships and accepting the outcomes is necessary. Remember that you've enrolled in college for a reason, to make a professional future for yourself, so focusing on your studies might help you overcome the personal issues easier.

The same goes with the new friends you will make. Not all people take education seriously. Some people will reinvent themselves after high school. Others will try to enjoy independence from their parents. Thus, you need to pick your friends carefully. No one says you should bury yourself in books. However, finding a healthy study and fun balance is necessary to get you through your college days.

New responsibilities

College life is a doorway to adulthood. Still, we are often surprised by the change it brings. The increase of obligations, assignments, tasks, and research is something we are not ready for. Whether you were a valedictorian or an average high school student, no one finds adjusting to the new college system easy. The important thing is to focus on your goals and make a plan that works best.

Poor organization and time management

The lack of organization is one of the biggest causes of stress in college students. Without an adequately established working, resting, and sleeping schedule, it will be hard to keep the anxiety away from your life. During high school, you had parents to keep you grounded and help you organize your responsibilities, often reminding you of homework and assignments. College is an entirely different dimension. You're on your own, and you need to find ways to make it work. The only way to do it is to sort out your priorities and create a plan. Even though the initial time and study organization are crucial, it's also essential to set short and long-term goals. If you work hard, it will pay off. In addition, showing your potential now will open many doors for a successful professional future.

Sleep deprivation and bad eating habits – some of the most prevalent causes of stress in college students

Moving to a new place and fear of the unknown is often a "two-edged sword". They are both exciting and scary because the change can be good and bad. Such transition might make us anxious, working so hard to adapt to the new life that sometimes we neglect our routine. A healthy diet, a good night's sleep, and daily exercise are the key to preserving your physical and mental health. However, focusing on so many things can shorten our nights, causing sleep deprivation. Add poor eating habits to it, and you will have a definition of the stress that will harm both the mind and body. To regain balance in your organism, you will have to schedule sleep, exercise, and make a healthy eating plan. Set up a sleeping time and if necessary, add some relaxing and calming tea before bed to your diet.


The causes of stress in college students are not much different from the causes of stress anyone adjusting to a new life situation experiences - the change of job, environment, family issues, and all other things we face in adult life. The only difference here is the age and the pressure of entering adulthood. New questions and decisions on our future are made for the first time, which is never easy. However, no matter the age, working on your well-being is crucial for an enjoyable life. And college is no different. Instead of making it a stressful experience, try gaining control over it. You can achieve great things through good organization and a healthy balance of fun and studies.

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