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When entering a college or university, students will find themselves overwhelmed, whether attending to a private university, a university trade school, a state university, or a community college. Each student will have to face feelings of being overwhelmed from new challenges and demands that college and university institutions require. This all begins at the beginning of one’s first year as a college student. That person will individually face an all or nothing expectation of being successful within the first year. Unfortunately, the second is more prevalent than the first. There is sufficient evidence that shows first year college student have a great deal of struggle with emotional and behavioral problems due to the weight of the expectation of passing their classes and being socially interactive with other students (Frazier, Meredith and Greer). College administration or “college life” attempts to make the college experience for first year students as welcoming and as stress-free as possible. This is so new students may feel confident and optimistic upon entering an institution. Some institutions will have orientation, workshop, or welcome events to create a more positive environment. However, this does not solve the problem of stress and other negative feelings that first year students often face as the school year progresses. Without a proper way of managing or expressing the worries and stresses that students will succumb to, their academic performance will suffer, as well as their mental health. As a direct consequence, thoughts of dropping out will be much more apparent in the freshman student population. The solution is to offer psychosocial adjustment or therapeutic counseling sessions to each first-year student. This will help develop a healthy way to express and find solutions to manage stress and other psychosocial issues.

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When attending into a college or a university for the first day and for their first time, many student will have a strong sense of mentality on passing their classes and achieving good grades, but somewhere along within the week and months of attending classes, some student will begin to have symptoms of negative thoughts and feeling, whether they are performing academically well or being socially okay. In the spring of 2003, the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) showed that respondents for students identified stress as the highest disorder to academic performance from their school year (Chemers, Hu). Some studies have attributed many of the emotional and physical symptoms that are common within the college population such as exhaustion, hypertension, headaches, depression, anxiety, and an inability to manage stress properly. Excessive stress reduces work effectiveness, could potentially contributes into unhealthy habits, and results in negative long-term consequences that some may find it difficult or not at all to come back from, such as addictions, crime, absenteeism, poor academic performance, school dropout, and, ultimately, career failure.

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For many students, the transition from high school to college is a fulfilling experience that includes anticipation, excitement, and enthusiasm. Although, a campus or an intuition of higher education may be a breeding ground for positive emotions, new college students have various challenges and obstacles to overcome for them to be successful. The transition into college brings a multitude of progressive challenges and stressors. Academically, students will encounter some demanding courses and must be able to manage their time effectively to be successful. Socially, many college students will lose or leave behind close friends and family members during their academic progress. By leaving a family member and old friends behind, some have the opportunity to build some new relationships with peers, advisers, faculty and many more individual that crosses path with them. Ideally, some students may develop the sense of self- responsibility, depending on the progression of their maturity, but that is not the case for many students, especially for those who are attending for their first year. Students frequently report the sense of loneliness, homesickness (for those who are living away from home), conflict from in and outside of intuition, and distress in interpersonal relationships.

It is with no surprise, college students have reported prominent level of stress, which affects with their academic performance and their well-being. For instance, a large study found that 50% of undergraduate students reported experiencing “more than consistent” or “tremendous” stress within the past year (American College Health Association, 2012). The prominent stress levels within students are connected to a congregation of negative outcomes including poorer physical health, mental health, and academic functioning. Given the developmental and psychosocial challenges that student must put up with throughout the duration of the school year, college students are a prime candidate for preservative mental health.

It is most common for first year student to experience some disorders such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, alcohol abuse, eating disorders and self-injury. The 2010 National Survey of Counseling Center Directors (NSCCD) found that 44% of counseling center clients had severe psychological issues, an increase from 16 percent in the year 2000. A 2010 survey was conducted of students by the American College Health Association found that 45.6 % of students surveyed reported feeling hopeless, and 30.7% reported feeling so depressed that it was difficult to function during the past 12 months. These kind of studies presents this is an issues for first year college student to experience.

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Maintaining your social life and expanding your social circle is very significant and should not be neglected while attending college. Not only is socializing can be beneficial for your health, lead into happiness, and increase your self-confidence. Socially, various college students would leave behind close friends and family members and if willingly, start some new relationships with peers, advisers, and faculty. College students frequently report feeling of loneliness, homesickness, conflict, and distress in interpersonal relationships (Conley, Travers, Bryant). This is one of the most critical issues that college intuitions. Here’s why it’s important to have a college social life. Socializing relieves the stresses of college life. Connecting with other people is especially important for incoming students as they adjust to the realities of new living arrangements and relationships.

Stress is a part of students’ existence and can impact how students manage with the demands of college life. For many college students, the pressure of receive good or maintain a decent grade and having the the mind set of achieving a degree is very demanding. Students are known to report stress at predictable times of each semester, the utmost sources of their academic stress would include taking and studying for test, quizzes, and exams, grade competition and large measurements of content that must obtain in an abbreviated period. Research shows that there is a relationship between stressful life events and poor health-related quality of life among college students, and that there is a connection between disease and stress (Lauri, Brian, Wang, Mark, Whalen) Students who experience more undesirable life events and have a more external of control are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and illness.

Effective time management can have a great buffering effect on stress and may be related to overall life satisfaction for college students. For example, social platform such as Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and various other alike has been found to be a negative impact relating time spent with studying and academic achievement. Nevertheless, studies have found that the amount of time students study has failed over the past five decades with one study finding that college students spent 51% of their time socializing and recreating, whereas only 7% of their time was used for studying. The amount of sleep is another measure that can affect stress levels of students. College students frequently have an unbalanced sleeping schedule due to academic work load and social demands. The number of hours that college students sleep has been associated with health, stress and quality of life; those with more positive health outcomes engage more time in sleeping. In fact, changes in sleeping pattern were found in one study to be the most frequent form of stress for college students.

Though many students do not have access to mental health services that can help them manage stress related concerns or do not use services that are available. Major interventions are one promising solution to this problem (Frazier, Meredith and Greer). Students might not recognize their need for mental health services, or they might hesitate to seek help for various personal, social, or cultural reasons. Given these challenges, it is not surprising that mental health services are greatly underutilized on college campuses. Despite evidence that a substantial proportion of students experience mental health symptoms that interfere with their functioning only about 10% of students receive campus mental health services (Conley, Travers).

By introducing first year college students to a psychosocial adjustment, which can be defined as the adaptive task of manage distressing feelings, frustrations, and preserving an emotional balance or a stress management skills which is a practices technique of relaxation, meditation, and breathing activities with other method that relates decrease of stress and anxiety could potentially help them deal with the stress that student commonly face in college, as well as prevent later problems in the future. Research indicates that college students who practice the development one of these essential skills in psychosocial wellness and stress management, are likely more to adapt to college more successfully. These sessions are intended to provide students with skills in stress management, problem solving, cognitive restructuring, mindfulness, effective social communication, and life enrichment, intended to promote their psychosocial well being and reduce their psychological distress. Social scientists recognize that developing effective interventions is only the first step toward improving the good health and well-being of the student populations (Durlak, DuPre). By learning the essential skill about how to manage stress and other negative related problem can have beneficial outcome, ultimately, presenting mental health promotion and inhibition of interventions such as this one are designed to reduce the occurrence of mental health and adjustment problems in college students.

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When entering a college or university,  many students will find themselves overwhelmed by the new life style they must adapt too with the first year, whether attending to a private university, a university trade school, a state university, or a community college. Each student will have to face feelings of being overwhelmed by the new challenges and demands that college and or university institutions require from them. First year students  struggle as they develop an emotional and behavioral problems due to the weight of the expectation of passing their classes and being socially interactive with other students. Some studies have attributed many of the emotional and physical symptoms that are common within the college population. Thus, lead into the problem of not having a proper way of managing or expressing the worries and stresses that students will succumb to, their academic performance will suffer, as well as their mental health. The success of a psychosocial wellness promotion program for first-year college students, with the goals of improving psychosocial adjustment, by enhancing positive well-being and reducing negative distress can help students successfully manage the stress and adjustment associated with the transition to college (Conley, Travers). College student who learn who to develop essential ability to enhancing positive well-being and reducing negative distress are more like to be more successful and has the potential of living a health life.

 

 

 

Work Cited

College Health Assessment II: Reference Group Data Report Spring 2012. Linthicum, MD: Author. Retrieved from http://www.acha-ncha.org/reports_ACHA-NCHAII.html.

Conley, Colleen S, Lea V Travers and Fred B Bryant. “Promoting Psychosocial Adjustment and Stress Management in First-Year College Students: The Benefits of Engagement in a Psychosocial Wellness Seminar.” Journal of American College Health. (2013): 75-86.

Durlak JA, DuPre E. Implementation matters: a review of research on the influence of implementation on program outcomes and the factors affecting implementation. Am J Community Psychol. 2008;41:327–350.

Dusselier, Lauri, et al. “Personal, Health, Academic, and Environmental Predictors of Stress for Residence Hall Students.” Journal of American College Health, vol. 54, no. 1, Jul/Aug2005, pp. 15-24. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=17940988&site=ehost-live.

Gallagher, Robert P. “Thirty Years of the National Survey of Counseling Center Directors: A Personal Account.” Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, vol. 26, no. 3, 2012, pp. 172–184., doi:10.1080/87568225.2012.685852.

Frazier, P, et al. “Randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of a web-based stress management program among community college students.” Anxiety Stress Coping (2015): 576-86.