I am a college student who currently attends Georgia State University. I am one of the students who have experienced the heavier side of the transition to college from high school. Growing up having to deal with mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, it was difficult to gain control of things as I tried to immerse myself into a new lifestyle. It certainly was a wake up call. Many college students drop out their first year, due to the high-stress levels of homesickness, expenses, not knowing what they plan to do in life, or being unprepared for the major workload and poor time management. It’s a major obstacle not only for universities, but for society’s future generations as well.
Writer of “Stress in College.”
The trolley bell dinged multiple times in between 25 Park Place and Woodruff Park. The air smells fresh, almost crisp. It was a chilly day for Atlanta, but there were still students sitting at the outside tables, with laptops out and coffee cups warm. The sun was barely shining, but still bright enough to see the emotionally drained looks of the local students faces. There was a constant noise of typing essays and assignments on the Macbooks around. The air being clean and tight, there were tasks to get done.
The front view of 25 Park Place.
Students were moving in and out of the busy building at all times of the day. Third and fourth year students passed by in business-casual attire. A man in black slacks and a white cotton woven button-up that was neatly tucked into his pants with a belt that pulled his garments together walked into the building. On the other side of the glass walls that the building made, he took out his smartphone. Very invested into his call, he took a seat in the empty lobby where the walls ran tall. He ran his left hand through his well slicked back hair, while he opened his brown leather briefcase with his right, and carried his smartphone with his shoulder. A petite girl with short black hair strode out of the elevator, passing the young man in the business attire, and belined towards the revolving doors that played as an exit and entrance for the building. Pausing before reaching the exit, she let out a soft exhale as she set her bag to her feet. While unbuttoning her blouse to reveal a black shirt underneath that read “KUNG FU TEA”, she pulled out a black hat and continued to ram her wrinkle-free soft blue blouse into her carry-on. Running her fingers through her soft waves of hair, she quickly pulled it into a ponytail and made her way across the street to Kung Fu Tea, where she clocked in for her shift. Local students around the Georgia State campus carried their tired facial expressions with them everywhere their feet took them. All the students seemed very fatigued.
Students were doing assignments on their laptops at the tables that surrounded the busy building. A messy blonde bun of hair sat in one of them. Her hair gathered into her tangled chaotic bun that sat on top of her head, and she had not one, but two cups of coffee sitting right next to each other on the table. Her head sat in her arms that laid on top of her laptop, and beside her bookbag. Suddenly, a phone alarm goes off. Everyone looking in the direction of the blonde, she picks her head up. Her face was tinted red, maybe pink. It could be from the cold weather, or from the aftermath of the fresh tears that had painted her face. Blondie sluggishly turned the phone alarm off, unlocked her laptop, and started typing away.
Universities struggle to keep up with the rising number of students seeking help and support. Many universities do offer programs that are designed to help students manage their stress. College campuses that focus on creating a “sense of feeling a part of a community” and who have support programs that students can turn to in order to help students manage being able to work through their stress and challenges. The last thing a college wants is to have a high number of unhappy graduates. University staff and faculty should also have resources like counseling as a priority on campus in order to help students with effective care. They need to learn to acknowledge the power of being a community. There should be more awareness of the overall well beings of their graduates, and recognition of the value in engaging with students.