College freshmen's emotional health hits new low

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College freshmen are working harder than ever and the stress is taking a toll on their emotional well-being, a new report shows.


The transition from senior year of high school to freshman year of college can be tumultuous. Between juggling classes and college applications and contemplating the potential social faux pas of asking a teacher to sign their yearbook, students often feel burnt out before they even move into their freshman dorm. Then the real fun begins.

UCLA's annual survey “The American Freshman" found that frosh increasingly report feeling overwhelmed and depressed. A record 9.5 percent of students reported feeling frequently depressed—up 3.4 percent from the previous year. The percent of students who felt “overwhelmed” by schoolwork and other commitments rose, too.


As students become more overwhelmed, they tend to disengage both academically and socially. Frosh with poor emotional health “wind up being less satisfied with college and struggle to develop a sense of belonging on campus, even after four years of college,” say the authors.

Only about 18 percent of college freshman reported spending at least 16 hours per week hanging out with friends, a nearly 20 percent drop since the late eighties.

Meanwhile, more than 27 percent of students reported spending at least six hours per week on online social networks, which seems like a gross underestimation. Either kids these days don’t understand exactly what an online social network is or 73 percent are in serious denial. I see that Facebook icon in your tabs, kids.

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