10 Things I Wish I’d Done My Freshman Year of College

A number of good common sense suggestions to cope better with the stress of college that can be applied to all areas of life

Nationwide, 17% of college students were diagnosed with or treated for anxiety problems during the past year, and 13.9% were diagnosed with or treated for depression. That is up from 11.6% for anxiety and 10.7% for depression in the spring 2011 survey. Counseling centers say they are also seeing more serious illnesses, including an uptick in the number of students coming to college with long psychiatric histories.

 

According to the Wall Street Journal:

  • Ohio State has seen a 43% jump in the past five years in the number of students being treated at the university’s counseling center.
  • At the University of Central Florida in Orlando, the increase has been about 12% each year over the past decade. A
  • t the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, demand for counseling-center services has increased by 36% in the last seven years.
  • Nationwide, 17% of college students were diagnosed with or treated for anxiety problems during the past year, and 13.9% were diagnosed with or treated for depression. That is up from 11.6% for anxiety and 10.7% for depression in the spring 2011 survey.
  • Counseling centers say they are also seeing more serious illnesses, including an uptick in the number of students coming to college with long psychiatric histories.

This surge in anxiety prompted Gracy Olmstead to write an article 10 Things I Wish I’d Done My Freshman Year of CollegeShe spends too little time on causes–mentioning only parental pressure, rising tuition costs, and the impact of social media–but she has a number of good common sense suggestions to cope better with the stress of college that can be applied to all areas of life. Click through to read the details, but here’s a quick summary:

1. Don’t Denigrate the Importance of Sleep
2. Eat Healthy and Exercise
3. Use Social Media Cautiously
4. Try to Find a Job
5. Focus on Friendships, Not Relationships
6. Take Friday Nights Off
7. Party Wisely
8. Learn How to Bribe Yourself
9. Do Not Join A Study Group
10. Find a Quiet Space Where You Can Recharge

I’d delete #7 and replace it with “Take a weekly Sabbath.” I’d also add a couple including, “Nourish your soul by daily devotions and weekly worship in a local church.” But apart from that, Gracy’s provided a good listicle that could give you a mid-semester boost or course correction.

David Murray is Professor of Old Testament & Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. This article first appeared on his blog, Head Heart Hand, and is used with permission.