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College Blues – Overwhelmed College Freshmen!

Here is a shocking revelation made by the annual UCLA study. Emotional health is at a record low as many students reported stress over a high rate of unemployed parents and tuition fees. According to a national survey carried out by a team of UCLA researchers, it was found that this year’s college freshmen are feeling alarming levels of financial and emotional stress, when compared to their predecessors. The freshmen have become bluesier. Read on to know more about how college freshmen are feeling much more overwhelmed and stressed out than their predecessors.

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About the ‘Bluesy’ Study
The annual “American Freshman” report which was released recently reveals that only about half of current 1st year students (51.9%) rated their emotional health just above average or higher, which is down from 55.3% last year.Also, this is the lowest rate since the question was popped 25 years ago. In the class, only 45.9% of women mentioned that they are emotionally strong, when compared with 59.1% of men.

Apart from these findings, around 2/3rd of this year’s freshmen (62.1%) told that recession has adversely affected their choice of college. Also, 73.4% of freshmen are relying on scholarships and grants to sail through their courses. This figure is up from 70% last year. Just before classes begin in the fall season, these freshmen were interviewed when they also revealed high rates of parental unemployment.

The Study Findings
According to John H. Pryor, managing director of UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute and the lead author of this report, students are feeling more overwhelmed and more amounts of stress. Hence, they have very low emotional reserves to handle these stress factors when they go to college.

This student report was started in 1966. This annual survey is known to be the nation’s most comprehensive assessment dealing with college students’ attitudes. The recent student annual report was based on the responses of around 201,000 freshmen at nearly 279 four-year colleges and universities located around the country.

The Gender Gap
The team of researchers were astounded by the gap between young women and young men while discussing whether they felt overwhelmed frequently by their activities at school, jobs and home as high school seniors. More than twice the share of men, around 39% of women proclaimed that they felt overwhelmed quite often. More than 29% felt such stress levels overall, which is up by 2% from the year before.

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Pryor speculated that the gender gap can be attributed to what young people do at their home. Young men spend more time in indulging in stress-relieving activities such as playing video games and watching TV. On the other hand, young women help their parents with chores at home.

The Positive Outcome
Many record proportions of freshmen declared that they expected to receive good grades and participate in community service as well as clubs. A strong majority of freshmen, 57.6%, thought that there was a “very good chance” of having a satisfying college experience. This is the highest share since 1982. This optimism turned out to be a heartening discovery for Pryor.

College Blues - Overwhelmed College Freshmen

This student annual report also delves into the political attitudes of these freshmen. It revealed that 46.4% proclaim to be middle-of-the-road. Also, 30.2% considered themselves to be liberal and 23.5% students were far right or conservative. According to the researchers, this trend shows that there is a modest shift from the left side and liberal side of the spectrum to the middle. This may indicate a waning enthusiasm in the youth activism surrounding the election of President Obama in 2008. This report has significantly highlighted the young generation’s attitude towards many aspects of life.

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