What Are the Causes of Stress Among College Students?

College students are often stressed by the demands to balance academic success with personal responsibility and social belonging. Academic stress factors include the pressure to achieve grades the student or his parents expect, as well as the need to perform well in school to get a good job.

For many college students, moving away from the comforts of home and into an on-campus dorm or apartment contribute to stress. Independence comes with more personal responsibility for doing homework, going to class, cleaning and cooking. Students also assume varying degrees of financial responsibility for their schooling. Some pay part or all of their college bills. Many work a lot of hours to pay for tuition or for activities while in school. Fatigue contributes to the pressure of getting assignments and studying done on time.

Social challenges also contribute to college stress. Students often find conflict with peers, and they don't have the comfort of going home to mom and dad at the end of the day. Roommate conflicts are especially challenging, since students must learn to share space with a peer. Some students feel pressure to participate in social outings with friends that can get in the way of school. The idea of turning away peers is a common stress factor.