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  • Writer's pictureBrian Harke

I got In! So why am I stressed out?

In a highly competitive world, the college process feels fraught with pressure - for students and parents alike. In all income communities, debilitating academic and social pressure is fueling a public health crisis of anxiety in schools and districts. According to Dr.Brian Harke, a life coach for young adults, research has shown that rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse are higher among college-bound teens than any other group of young people, and achievement pressure is a significant contributor. It is not all the student's fault.

College acceptance decisions are an important rite of passage in America. However, students are dealing with higher stress levels after being accepted to a college because of the new persona they have to create. For twelve years, students have had a structured environment to cling to. Now that they are new college students there is anxiety and stress over who they will become and how they will handle their new environment. Parents should engage their students in conversations about their hopes and dreams, values, and what kind of adults they imagine they'll be. Considering the pressure and anxiety that college presents to newly accepted students, it's important to have an open dialogue.

Parents must examine their own anxieties. Ensure you're hearing your child's wishes and considering their best interests, not filtering them through your own hopes, peer-driven status worries, or unmet college expectations. Parents need to realize that stress and anxiety aren't solely the student's issue but also their own to address.

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