Freshmen More Stressed Than Ever
First-year college students report low emotional health
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2011 8:04 AM CST
College freshmen report stress levels are at a record high.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – College freshmen might not be learning much—but that doesn’t mean they’re not stressed. The levels of emotional health in incoming freshmen hit a record low last year, probably thanks in part to the recession. According to an annual survey, students who rated themselves as having “below average” emotional health rose, while those who said they had “above average” emotional health fell to 52%. In 1985, 64% of students claimed “above average” emotional health, the New York Times reports. Parental unemployment was also at a record high.

Campus counselors say the survey corroborates what they see on campus, and that students are especially concerned about job prospects after they graduate. At the same time, freshmen rated their academic ability and drive higher than ever, indicating that some of the stress may come from pressure they’re putting on themselves. Says one campus director, “Students know their generation is likely to be less successful than their parents’, so they feel more pressure to succeed than in the past.”