PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s hard out there for today’s college students.
It seems that anxiety around rising student debt, securing at least two internships before graduation and trying to find a job in the tough economy is taking a toll on students as young as 18.
“The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2014,” an annual survey of more than 150,000 students across the country, found that the number of freshman who reported feeling stressed or overwhelmed has increased.
According to the research, 9.5% of freshman reported frequently “felt depressed” within the past year, which is up from the 6.1% that said the same five years ago.
The percentage of those who “felt overwhelmed” by school work or extracurriculars rose to 34.6% from 27.1%.
Meanwhile, students’ time spent socializing or partying hit an all-time low. In 1987, 37.9% of incoming freshman said they socialized at least 16 hours per week and just over 18% spent five hours or less with friends. In 2014, nearly 30 years later, 18% of students said they socialize 16 hours or more, while 38.8% said they spent five hours or less with friends. Researchers say White students and males were more likely to spend more time with friends, while Latino students were the least likely to say the same. Partying was also down, with 61.4% reporting they partied less than an hour a week during their senior year of high school. That percentage is up from just 24.3% who partied less than an hour a week in 1987.
While few adults would say that less underage drinking and partying is a bad thing, when it’s coupled with increased feelings of depression, frequently feeling overwhelmed and less socializing between friends, it does seem worrying.
So, what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook.
For more info, check out the study: TheAmericanFreshman2014