Preparing Students for the Stress of College

Brad M. Griffin | Feb 1, 2011

You may have seen the report last week that a new study reveals a Record Level of Stress Found in College Freshmen.

Apparently the overall emotional health of new college students this year is at a 25-year low. Similarly, the percentage of students who say they were overwhelmed their senior year of high school has been on the rise. This chart from the NY Times is revealing:

If you work with high school students who are headed to college, this is a conversation to be having now. I remember feeling overwhelmed my senior year of high school, but for some reason thinking it would get easier once I got out of there and started college. Lets just say I had limited perspective.

One of the things weve learned through our College Transition Project is that students who show what we call Sticky Faith felt more prepared for what the transition would be like. Sadly only 1 out of 7 felt like their youth ministries did much to prepare them well. This new research only heightens the importance of this finding. If youre hosting some kind of senior prep group this winter/spring, use this article as a discussion starter to bring up some questions like:

What kinds of things tend to max you out or make you feel overwhelmed?

What do you think your stress level will be like in college?

How are you handling stress now?

What do you think youll do to deal with stress in college?

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and the series Can I Ask That?: 8 Hard Questions about God and Faith. Brad and his family live in Southern California.


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