Anxiety In College Students : Causes, Statistics & How Universities Can Help

Anxiety In College Students


Anxiety has been propping up as one of the most common issues with the students enrolled in the higher education in the current era. A study by Penn state declares that over 60 percent of the college students have a tendency to report anxiety. This has been rising as a generic issue at this age and demography, irrespective of the gender and races. Another study across college student of US states has founder that anxiety disorders have reportedly doubled amongst students in the span between 2008 to 2016 (Buckeye Network, 2021). Further in the light of pandemic, these numbers have found to be escalated exponentially.

In the underlying discussion, the study lays the aspects of the main causes of anxiety prevalent amongst the students in the purview of higher education. The study presents subsequent data and statistical evidences representing high level of anxiety in the college students. The subsequently discussion presents aspects and steps that administration at college level could undertake to address the issue.

In general term, the word anxiety refers to the aspects of persistent feeling of fear based on apprehension of what could be coming in future. The persistent feeling of anxiety could lead to development of symptoms including nervousness, being tense or imminent feeling of dread or danger. These persistent symptoms could lead to interference with daily activities of the person and lead to development of series mental conditions such as MDD or major depressive disorder.

Causes Of Anxiety In Student In Higher Education

Stress and anxiety have been becoming a significant part which is prevalently evident amongst the university students in the current era. According to online assignment help experts there are some reasons that are imperative to the contributing anxiety levels amongst the university students. Some of these have been enumerated as follows:

  • Transition is one of the prominent causes that contribute to the extent of stress of these students. Transition here refers to aspects of social, academic, living conditions and exposure to further opened world. Students entering in the arena of higher studies are quite new to the challenges of being exposed to the academic world which also requires skills like networking, cooperative living along with progress for building a career. Even though a student could be mentally prepared for the change, the exposure presents as sudden change in the aspect of social and educational scenarios could be significantly contributing to the stress and anxiety at this level (Buckeye Network, 2021).
  • Rising level of academic stress is one of the major causes that contribute in the level of stress and anxiety amongst the university students. Currently academia has become a source in which people enroll in hope for building a better career and subsequently a better standard of living. In these aspects a lot of those students enroll into universities that might not have an original aptitude actually based for the aspects of academia. When those students that do not have suitable aptitude for certain high level programs, coping to make significant achievement levels needed contributes to the high level of stress amongst the individuals in this regard (Bazrafkan, L. et al, 2016).
  • Even though stress and anxiety might seem to be identical, their causes and sources of origin tend to present consequences of stressors. According to make my assignment experts the stressors or causes of stress origin amongst the university students have been found to be the factors like excessive assignment culture, poor time management skills for management of academic stress, poor social skills, and the high level of peer competition which could be registered in the purview of university students. These stressors operating at different levels could be significant cause of anxiety among the students in the purview of higher education (Wahed & Hassan, 2016).
  • Extensiveness of education system also tends to play a significantly enabling role in contributing to the stress levels. The vast course and credit systems, extensive grading systems along with limited facilities to gather study resources, long hours of learning, memory based expectations and standards of grading, financial aspects associated with gathering the resource to be able to study, etc. contribute into the heightened stress and anxiety levels (Islam, M. et al, 2020). It is not only the vastness of these courses but also the expectation level that has to be met for scoring well that contributes into the aspect of stress and anxiety. Further the aspects of score expectation and fear of failure contribute to the stress and anxiety of these young adults in the purview of university studies (Mofatteh, 2021).
  • Financial management tends to be another cause of passive anxiety that students face. These students usually survive on scholarship funds, student loans, funds from parents, etc. on which they survive to make their ends meet, manage the resources for procuring study material and additional help. Students with ill managed funds and particularly weaker financial backgrounds have been found to suffer from anxiety issues regarding management of funds. Further at university level, students can actually be new to management of personal finances and its improper management has often been found to be cause of stress and anxiety (Sam, 2014).
  • Stream wise differences and their future career prospects can also be one of the major causes of stress and anxiety. Students have been selecting streams of study not based on the aspect of interest or aptitude but based on the career prospect and earning potential a stream of study would presents. Due to highly competitive capacity in each stream the students have been exposed to the aspects of stress and anxiety (Bazrafkan, L. et al, 2016).

Statistical Evidences Of Anxiety And Depression In College Students

In the study by Asif, S. et al (2020)  the use of survey method in the university students in Sialkot is prominent. The results based on sample of 500 students reflect that the frequency of depression amongst these students is found to be as high as 75 per cent. At the same time anxiety and stress are prevalent at the rate of 88 and 85 per cent approx., respectively.

Source: (Asif, S. et al, 2020)

The above figure represents findings from the same studies that reflect there is moderate level of depression as well as stress amongst the university student. However, it is evident that the level of anxiety amongst these students is significant high. The statistical evidences present that the anxiety and stress level in the purview of university students is significantly high. In the analysis in previous section, it is also established that there are significant causes and varied variety of reasons that the young adults particularly the students in the university level are exposed to (Reddy, Menon, & Thattil, 2018).

Another study from the university students in universities of Bangladesh analyses that students in situation of lockdowns and further remote study concepts has been contributing to the elevated level of anxiety in the aspect of this demography. The results in the study by Islam, M. et al (2020) present that around 82 per cent of students have been found to have mild symptoms of anxiety and severe depressive symptoms. Around 88 per cent of students have been found to have severe anxiety symptoms. Over 40 per cent of these students have been found to be non-academically lagging, stuck in vicinity of their homes in the purview of lockdown. Roughly 30 per cent of these students have been reported the feeling of overwhelm or profound sadness (Islam, M. et al, 2020). These above mentioned causes of anxiety, along with the aspects of isolated and silo work environment have been contributing significantly to the stress as well as anxiety levels of the students in the purview of universities.

Steps That Institutions Can Take In Aiding The Situation

in the view point of essay rewriter a lot of common causes of stress among the university students is aligned with the nature of academia and the structure of educational course. The basis step that universities can ensure in this regard includes the introduction of academic disengagement. The universities could divide courses as per the specialization and subsequently reduce the needed credits in the purview of each course. This is helpful aspect that universities can introduce for reducing the level of burden over the studies. Since overwork can lead to health related behavioural aspects such as sleep patterns, dietary changes, etc. Thus universities can also establish counselling cells to help the students to manage any phases of anxiety and stress in the initial stages only.

Institutions can introduce programs that help the students in understanding the necessity of calming activities in the life including the aspects such as taking calm breaths, regular exercises, etc. At the university campus, such programs could be introduced that could help in the development of guided stress management techniques among the students (Scott, 2021). There is fear of rising suicidal tendencies amongst the students of this stage. Active participation of the universities in ensuring that the welfare of students is ensured by several techniques of counselling can be helpful in this regard.

Universities must also play key role in active counselling of parents. There are evidences of pressure from parents to score well or achieve career expectations that is a contributing factor in students leading to elevated stress and anxiety. Universities in this aspect could ensure that pressure points over the students can subsequently be reduced. It is imperative that some extent of reduced stress from various sources would be significantly contributing in the reduced level of stress and anxiety amongst the students.


This study has aimed at laying assessment of causes of stress and anxiety level amongst the university student and the way universities and institutions can ensure remedial steps for minimising this. It has been established that anxiety has been propping up as one of the most common issues with the students enrolled in the higher education in the current era. A study by Penn has found that more than 60 percent of the college students have a tendency to report anxiety. The common causes of anxiety amongst the college students have been established as factors like transition to guarded life under parents to an independent social life, factors like differences in streams of study, differences in career prospects and earning potential, lack of understanding of financial fund management, etc also tend to contribute significantly in the rising level of anxiety and stress level amongst students. It has been established that this elevated level of anxiety has been contributing to significantly high level of suicidal tendencies at such a young age as well.

In this regard, the study has established that universities and education institutions can ensure several steps to helps student to cope with this phase. Reduced level of assignment pressure, simplified academic programs, access and availability to free study resources can help in reducing the academia related stress. Further the institutions can also arrange for counselling sessions and mediation programs for students to help them develop the art of mental health balance.


Asif, S. et al. (2020). Frequency of depression, anxiety and stress among university students. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences , pp. 971 – 976.

Bazrafkan, L. et al. (2016). Management of Stress and Anxiety Among PhD Students During Thesis Writing: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Health Care Management , pp. 231 – 240.

Buckeye Network. (2021). DEALING WITH ANXIETY IN COLLEGE. Retrieved from

Islam, M. et al. (2020). Depression and anxiety among university students during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh: A web-based cross-sectional survey. Plos One ,

Mofatteh, M. (2021). Risk factors associated with stress, anxiety, and depression among university undergraduate students. AIMS Public Health , pp. 26 – 65.

Reddy, K., Menon, K., & Thattil, A. (2018). Academic Stress and its Sources Among University Students. Retrieved from

Sam, N. (2014). Examination Stress And Anxiety: A Study of College Students. Reseach Gate Journal .

Scott, E. (2021). Top 10 Stress Management Techniques for Students. Retrieved from

Wahed, W., & Hassan, S. (2016). Prevalence and associated factors of stress, anxiety and depression among medical Fayoum University students. Alexandria Journal of Medicine , DOI: 10.1016/j.ajme.2016.01.005. Protection Status
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