College freshmen troubled â€” but optimistic
|Author: Rawnak Hafsa|
Date: Thursday, January 27th, 2011
|Return to Archive|
This year's class of U.S. college freshmen is reporting record-low levels of emotional health, with more students saying they frequently felt overwhelmed by work as high school seniors, according to an annual survey being released Thursday.
Yet the new students generally expressed positive attitudes toward higher education, even as they struggle to finance it. More students than ever - about 73 percent - believe it will help their earning power, researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles found.
"Despite the fact that students are concerned about the economy and stressed out ... they're still really optimistic about the college experience," lead author John Pryor said.
The study, titled The American Freshman: National Norms, found 51.9 percent reported their emotional health was above average, a drop of 3.4 percentage points from last year that Pryor called "fairly alarming.
"Women were far less likely than men to report high levels of emotional health.
Overall, emotional well-being was at the lowest level since the question was first asked in 1985, when 63.6 percent reported feeling above average, the study said.Pryor, director of UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute, said the reasons behind the decline are unclear, but the result may be that freshmen are less able to cope with the stress of their new academic and social environments.That could lead to poor decisions in terms of time management and alcohol consumption, he said.
Marcus Hotaling, chairman of mental health for the American College Health Association said he's not surprised by the findings.In 1985, he said, many students with mental health issues did not get into college. Today, they are able to pursue higher education because of improved medication, better treatments, reduced stigmas and more open discussions of mental health.
"Students are more attuned to who they are, what they're dealing with, and that there's help out there," said Hotaling.
Academically, more students than ever - 71.2 percent - rated their abilities as above average; nearly 76 percent rated their drive to achieve in the same terms.
The study also found that a record 47 percent of freshmen expected to participate in student clubs or groups. And nearly 58 percent said there's a very good chance they'll be satisfied with their college experience overall - the highest percentage since 1982.
Thomas Dingman, dean of freshmen at Harvard University, said his "very, very busy" class of 1,675 students embodies both the optimism and the stress reported in the survey.
"Many of them come in with high expectations and feel that there's not that much room for error because they want to be successful," Dingman said.
Sean Marks, an 18-year-old freshman at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said the pressure he felt in high school has continued at college.
As a high school senior, Marks said he stayed home on Saturday nights to apply for scholarships. Now he has to keep up his GPA to retain that money.
"That's the whole mentality ... focus on school, have to get ahead, have to get scholarship money, have to apply for every single grant," Marks said.
Still, the economics major from Ewing, N.J., said he is extremely happy at Drexel and has become more involved with campus activities - even though it adds to his work load.
"I found a happy balance finally," Marks said. "But the stress definitely piles up if you don't know how to manage it correctly.
"The UCLA study is based on the responses of 201,818 first-time, full-time students at 279 of the nation's four-year colleges and universities.
- All Categories
- Academic Outreach
- Continuing & Professional Development
- Distance Learning
- Summer Sessions
- Winter Term
- Career & Workforce Development
- Lifelong Learning
- Society for Lifelong Learning
- WKU On Demand
- Study Away
- Faculty-Led Study Abroad
- Center for Faculty Development
- Cohort Programs
- Dual Credit
- Conferencing & Catering
- All Categories
- March 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS October 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2012 E-Newsletter
- April 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS November 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2013 E-Newsletter
- JUNE 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS May/June 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2013 E-Newsletter
- Archived CHHS News
- CHHS October 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2015 E-Newsletter
- December 2015 ICYMI
- January 2016 ICYMI
- MAY 2016 ICYMI
- February 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS July 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2011 E-Newsletter
Film nominated in IndieWire’s Project of the Year Contest
7:45AM - 9:30AM
Lady Toppers play 2/23 and 2/25
Construction webcams are now in place so you can watch the progress of Hilltopper Hall and the Southwest and Northeast Hall connectors online: wku.edu/webcams - images are uploaded from 5 am-5 pm.
Early construction on a new residence hall at Western Kentucky University has begun, with the goal of offering students more personal living space with common areas for studying and socializing...
Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,