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Stress. Anxiety. Self-doubt. Don’t fall into these traps in college


Being forced to attend college in the midst of a pandemic is not an option. 95%A survey by found that 67 percent of college students have negative symptoms related to their mental health. These effects can negatively impact academic performance and lead to early career failure.

Since 2014According to Boston University research, depression and anxiety are the top mental health concerns among college students.

Many students are unaware that they have a lot of control over the stress and pressure. This means you should be selective – and realistic – in the jobs, internships, projects and extracurricular activities you take on outside of school. Beginning professionals and students need good time management habits. It is important to periodically check in on yourself and assess how much you’re doing. Does it have an effect on my daily life?

David Robinson is a Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law first year student and a Howard University graduate for spring 2021. anxiety-induced procrastinationHe spent much of his senior years attempting to replace his face-to–face relationships with screen-to–screen connections.

David Robinson, a first year law student at Florida A&M University College of Law and a spring 2021 Howard University graduate.

Source: David Robinson

“The biggest theme… was just a lot of procrastination. An insane amount of procrastination. Even just waking up to do Zoom was just a fight to get on the screen — sometimes camera-ready, sometimes not —just being present and bringing everyone together for school was just a big stressor,” Robinson said.

Anxiety can lead to procrastination. Robinson lost his summer internship because of the pandemic and decided to pursue real estate for professional development. Robinson was required to simultaneously study for the LSAT as well as the Florida real estate license during his senior year.

The members of Generation ZEmpxtrack, an HR software firm, says that students entering college are more appreciation-driven than those who have already entered the workforce.

Roger Lin is 22, a Finance major at University of Utah. During his sophomore year, he worked as an intern for HF Foods Group and was constantly trying to impress the bosses.

“I was very interested in the project, and I asked my master if I could help with this merger. Lin said that for two months I met with investment bankers, and prepared financial statements to support the merger. The investment bankers flew in and showed me the details of my business, as I had been with them for so many years. He continued, “This was a lot of work when you add in schoolwork and my sales job at that time.”

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Although it may boost your resume, too many opportunities can be detrimental to mental health. Frederica Boso is a Florida licensed mental health counselor and therapist at Brightside, which focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy.

If you try to do too much, you will not get it done. Boso stated that it is easier to do less work, or break down the work into smaller pieces.

For anxiety management, she recommended taking it slow and in smaller portions. These issues must be addressed early because if left untreated, it could become a problem for future graduates.

Maria Offutt (a Ohio State University graduate and the current Teach For America internal recruitment manager) was diagnosed with generalized anxious disorder during her first postgraduate position as an elementary school teacher.

Maria Offutt is an intern recruitment manager at Teach For America. She graduated from Ohio State University in 2019.

Source: Fernanda Ruiz

“I remember my parents coming up to see me about six months into teaching my first year … and they were like, ‘You look different …’ The reason I looked different was because I had lost 15 pounds since the last time I saw them because I was so overwhelmed with my anxiety … my anxiety was no longer social, it was like generalized anxiety disorder that was not going away any time soon,” Offutt reflected.

Offutt felt a lot pressure to fulfill her job. She was afraid of not being good enough. Are I the kind of leader my children deserve? Can I be a caring leader that really benefits these students?

Many people get caught up in the things that don’t work out their way. It’s like they were failing. Take a moment to reframe those perfectionist tendencies if you are one of them.

Rebecca Heiss (a stressed physiologist, and a speaker) explained how cognitive restructuring can change the way we deal with anxiety and stress. She said, “Instead of seeing something as a failure and accepting it as such,”

These tips are from Heiss & Boso if you’re struggling to manage stress or anxiety.

  1. Heiss suggests that you look at the situation from your ABCs. ASK yourself — Is it a life or death situation? BREATHE. Get curious about the things you have control over and what you can do in order to regain that control.
  2. Have a support system—counselors, friends, mentors— you can lean on.
  3. Don’t personalize your errors.
  4. Find hobbies that you are naturally drawn to.

Many college students as well as early professionals used these tips.

“The one thing that helps me the most is always interacting with others…it’s so helpful to have people you can talk to,” Lin said.

Robinson used many other outlets to establish a boundary between academic and private life.

“I like cooking now… exercise… a little bit of yoga…I like journaling,” he said.

Most of the time, college students and professionals at entry level have lived with their parents, teachers, or other family members. Being in control of their own time. Now, time belongs to them, and it’s so much more than deciding when to study, when to go out and when to go to sleep — or stay up late. You have to be able manage your time and recognize when it becomes too overwhelming. You need to stop? Ask for help or slow down. A lack of mindfulness and support can lead to stress spiraling out of control that causes havoc in our lives, and even affects our mental and physical health. 

Take some time to review your stress level over the holiday break to determine if you should make changes in order to balance it. Consider the following: What’s my stress level? Do you feel stressed? How can I manage this better? If you have any questions or need support, don’t hesitate to ask. It doesn’t matter if you go to college on your own. Talk to a friend or family member, and/or contact the university counseling center.

All of us experience stress. It is how you deal with stress that matters.

CNBC’s “College Voices″ is a series written by CNBC interns from universities across the country about getting their college education, managing their own money and launching their careers during these extraordinary times. Darreonna DavisHoward University Junior Journalism major, currently interns for CNBC’s Specials Team. This series was edited by Cindy Perman.