Student Life

Stress levels in young adults reach an all-time high

Stress might be on the decline, but not for young adults.

A Stress in America survey of U.S. adults 18 and older by Harris Interactive for the American Psychological Association found that stress in young adults is higher than the national norm.

People ages 18 to 33 are experiencing high stress levels and, according to the article, it doesn’t seem as though this will be changing anytime soon.

The Millennial generation, which describes adults ages 18 through 33, has been reported as having increasing stress levels. According to the article, “39% of surveyed adults claim their stress has increased in the past year; 52% of the same adults say stress has kept them awake at night in the last month.”

Junior Lauren Duncan finds it easy to relate to those surveyed. She finds her whole life to be stressful as she balances school and registered student organizations while worrying about money and finding time for friends.

“Life has definitely become more stressful over the years,” the Jenison native said. “I almost never sleep, mostly due to stress and trying to find time to do everything I need.”

According to a study done by James Madison University, college students are now enrolling in more credit hours than ever before in previous semesters, and students are really feeling the pressure of those few extra classes added to their already busy schedules.

DeWitt junior Brianne June said it’s all about time management when it comes to her balancing her schedule with 18 credit hours, 30-hour work weeks and RSOs.

“My time management skills have improved majorly, and I don’t watch TV very much anymore,” June said. “I can’t sit around watching TV; I have to sit down and read for class or write papers in my spare time.”

The Millennial generation has more cause to worry, according to Mike Harris, co-author of “Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation is Remaking America.

Harris writes about how Millennials are struggling as they face unexpected failure when it comes to securing jobs and finding a solid income after being brought up to succeed.

Harris makes a point in his book to explain that, most of the time, the Millennials are not to blame, but rather the economy; young adults just entered into adulthood at a rough time.

Multiple psychology surveys, including the Stress in America survey, show top stress factors for Millennials to be work, money and relationships.

According to the Stress in America survey, more Millennials have been diagnosed by health care providers with depression and anxiety disorders than any other generation because of these leading stress factors.

“I have extremely bad anxiety issues, and a lot of it has been due to stress,” said junior Andrea Blough, who also balances involvement in RSOs, attending school full-time and studying for her Medical College Admissions Test.

“An outlet for me has been working out and running,” the Troy native said. “I have recently signed up for a 5K, which gives me a focus beyond school work.”

When it comes to relieving stress, Millennials have reported listening to music and taking long walks to be most helpful.

“To relieve stress, I like to blast music and dance and sing, workout, drive around in my car or just focus and get everything done,” Duncan said.

After the surveys and research, psychology professionals relay the message that in a time when “doing more” is seen as advancing in society, it might not be the best, or healthiest, way to go about life.

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