MarketWatch of the Wall Street Journal reported that the number of college students seeking counseling and financial support is on the rise this fall.
This is a disturbing trend that could continue to increase as college costs rise, unemployment among recent college graduates remains high, and students enter the job market financially illiterate.
“ComPsych Corp., Chicago, the provider of employee-assistance programs gets about 150,000 calls a year from people in the 18- to 24-year-old age group.
“A growing number of students are worried about student loans, and many are getting less financial support from parents, says a ComPsych spokeswoman. More of the calls have an overtone of crisis, compared with the past: while students three years ago used to call about college planning, saving and budgeting, more calls now are about debt and bad credit histories, according to ComPsych data,” notes the article’s author.
College students are already burdened with important life decisions like choosing a major. Adding financial stress to the anxiety of choosing the right college major increases the risk of depression, anxiety and stress. Many students turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
The article notes,
“Depression, anxiety and stress typically rise when teens enter college, and the risk is highest among students who try to cope in unhealthy ways, such as abusing cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs (think “Animal House”); denying they have any problems, or blaming themselves for their difficulties, according to a University of Kentucky study published earlier this year in the journal Issues in Mental Health Nursing.”
Students who discover their passions and purpose and become financially literate avoid the stress associated with selecting the right college major paying for it all. The keys to a relatively stress-free college experience are knowing your passions and purpose as well as becoming financially literate.