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College and Mental Health – Is College Too Much for me Right Now?

  • Posted at Oct 18, 2022
  • Written by Rebecca
College and Mental Health – Is College Too Much for me Right Now?

College students are not immune to mental health issues or other situations that may be keeping them from wanting to return to school or start their college experience. So, if you’re a college student and are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of going to college in the upcoming semester, you’re not alone. You may even be wondering, “is college too much for me right now?”. Many things may contribute to college-age individuals feeling uneasy about transitioning to college or going back to college. However, this isn’t abnormal. And, college and mental health are often subjects that are studied in relation to one another because college-age students often feel this way. It can be helpful for people of this age to understand that they’re not the only ones struggling with the concept of going to school. And, that they have options so they don’t feel pressured into a situation that can make matters worse.

Are Other College Students Feeling This Way?

If you’re feeling like college may be too much for you right now or that you’re not ready, you’re not the only one. In fact, it’s a nationwide issue. So many students feel pressured to go to college but end up dropping out due to issues they don’t understand how to face. In fact, dropout rates are only getting higher. According to statistics from Best Colleges:

  • over a million students drop out of college every year
  • in the 2019-2020 year, 24% of first-time college students dropped out
  • in 2021, 36% of students who enrolled six years prior hadn’t received their degree
  • in 2020, 17% of adults in the US had some college experience but no degree
  • in 2021. 1.4 million Americans had 4 years of college experience but no degree

So, according to the numbers, it’s not hard to see that many people end up dropping out of college for whatever reason. And, that it’s not rare for people to not return to college in order to finish a degree in what they’re studying. Rather, it’s normal for people who are of college age to begin college and end up not returning.

The Studies Behind College and Mental Health Issues

Research suggests that mental health issues are actually getting more frequent and severe for college-age individuals. For example, The Healthy Minds study from the fall semester of 2020 researched the prevalence of mental health issues in a sample of 4,000 students and found that 83% of students experience a decline in academic performance due to mental health issues. And, that over 66% of these individuals reported feeling lonely and struggling with feelings of isolation.

Reasons Why College-Age Individuals May Not Feel That College is For Them

There are many reasons why people who are of college age may feel uncomfortable with returning to college or starting their college experience. These feelings may stem from expectations, previous experiences, and untreated/undiagnosed mental health issues. Some reasons why college-age individuals may feel unsure about going back to or starting college can include:

  • feeling stressed about leaving home and going to a new environment
  • being unease about the expectation to self-structure
  • separating from loved ones
  • sudden or traumatic losses
  • social anxiety
  • feeling excluded from popular groups
  • exposure to substance use
  • challenges with picking courses/major (especially for those who feel their identity is ill-defined)
  • intellectual challenges compared to high school
  • difficulties in acknowledging to self, parents, and friends that they’re not ready for college just yet/right now

What Can You do if You Feel Like You’re Not Quite Ready for College or Going Back to College?

It’s normal to feel not ready to jump right into a college experience, even if you have some experience with college already. Especially, if you’re already dealing with symptoms of mental health issues. Fortunately, it’s okay not to be ready to go to college. And, there is assistance waiting for you if you wish to accept help in finding out what you do want for your future. For example, therapeutic services and mental health care for emerging adults, like the programs available at Yellowbrick.

Find out more about the services and residency options we provide to emerging adults who are college-age individuals from our website today to learn more about how we can help.

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