College Students, Stress, and Stress Relief

Posted On December 12, 2018
Categories Uncategorized

College students are especially vulnerable to stress. The stress associated with college itself, pressure to do well, social anxiety, and more can make the collegiate experience feel quite overwhelming. December, in particular, is an extremely taxing time for college students across the United States. The exam anxiety consumes almost every student after Thanksgiving break as they realize the clock is ticking for students to reiterate what they have learned all semester in the final exam. In a study done by the College Student Journal, researchers surveyed 344 students enrolled in a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and 165 students enrolled in a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) to evaluate the various sources of college students’ stress.

The results of the survey revealed 69% of students reported their stress was related to fear of low grades, 61% of students’ stress was related to time management, and 55% of students stressed over missed classes. Unsurprisingly, majority of students had stress factors that were related to their academic life rather than their personal or social life. However, there were differences among stress levels between African American and White students. African American students attending both the PWI and HBCU reported higher levels of academic stress (M=17.62 and M=17.87, respectively) than the White PWI students (M=16.74). Undoubtingly, the study “suggest[ed] that there is a need for different intervention strategies to address stress among students from various racial backgrounds.” Here, at the Office of Black Student Achievement, we’re proud to offer an inclusive space for student support, both academically and personally. Further, Georgia State University’s Counseling and Testing Center offers a wide range of services.

Though stress can be crippling, the feeling post-finals is the opposite. College students receive about 2-3 weeks for winter break. During this time, it is suggested that student engage in satisfying activities that promote relaxation. Below are some recommended activities:
• Start practicing yoga or meditation
• Enjoy a massage
• Host a movie/game night with friends
• Read a good book
• Visit a local attraction

However you choose to relax and de-stress, stay safe and stay warm this month and remember the Office of Black Student Achievement will be here when you return.

Negga, F., Applewhite, S., & Livingston, I. (2007). African American College Students and
Stress: School Racial Composition, Self-Esteem and Social Support. College Student
Journal, 41(4), 823–830. Retrieved from