Psst, freshmen! Are you feeling stressed? You're not alone: a survey revealed that this year's incoming students are the most stressed in 25 years. The economy, it seems, is to blame:
“Students know their generation is likely to be less successful than their parents’, so they feel more pressure to succeed than in the past,” said Jason Ebbeling, director of residential education at Southern Oregon University. “These days, students worry that even with a college degree they won’t find a job that pays more than minimum wage, so even at 15 or 16 they’re thinking they’ll need to get into an M.B.A. program or Ph.D. program.”
Other findings in the survey underscore the degree to which the economy is weighing on college students.
“Paternal unemployment is at the highest level since we started measuring,” said John Pryor, director of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at U.C.L.A.’s Higher Education Research Institute, which does the annual freshman survey. “More students are taking out loans. And we’re seeing the impact of not being able to get a summer job, and the importance of financial aid in choosing which college they’re going to attend.”
“We don’t know exactly why students’ emotional health is declining,” he said. “But it seems the economy could be a lot of it.”