7 Signs You Are Under a Lot of Stress in College

College is supposed to be a fun-filled time of learning and expanding horizons, right? Unfortunately for many college students, the pressure to succeed can take the fun out of the college experience. Students often find themselves stressed to the point of burnout, which can derail your plans for the future. The good news is that stress is treatable and can be managed. However, many college students don’t realize that they are under too much stress– or write it off as normal—until it’s too late. Here are some signs that you may need to seek help in managing your stress.

Decreased Focus

If you’re the type A that stays organized and always seems to have it together, one of the first signs of being over-stressed is that you suddenly seem to be falling apart. Missing appointments, forgetting deadlines, and failing to set your alarm are sometimes a primary indicator that your brain is in overdrive and may need to slow down.


Unexplained pain or health problems can be a very good sign that your body is not coping well with the level of stress you have. If you find yourself dealing with constant headaches that you’ve never really dealt with before, stress could be the culprit. Tooth grinding in your sleep is a common cause of headaches, and a common behavior for people that are stressed. You probably don’t even realize you’re doing it. Consider purchasing a mouthguard to wear at night when you’re sleeping to help reduce this kind of pain.

Appetite Changes

We’ve all heard of the freshman 15, but that’s normal. What you need to watch out for is any sudden increase or decrease in appetite that doesn’t seem to correspond with nutritional needs. The stress response can release cortisol, causing you to over eat to find extra energy. But a loss of appetite can often be a more critical concern; your body has decided that it doesn’t want to waste the energy on digestive processes, a clear indication that you’re in danger of a breakdown.


One of the things that stress can do is to make you cranky all the time. When we’re stressed, we don’t have the patience to deal with things that would otherwise not bother us. If you find yourself getting mad at your roommate for minor problems, or unreasonably snap at someone who interrupts your studying, it probably means you’re under a lot of stress.


If you find yourself exhausted all the time, but still can’t sleep, you might want to investigate counseling or treatment. Lying awake at night worrying about your next exam or second-guessing whether your last essay was good enough to maintain your average shows an unhealthy level of anxiety. Start looking into good sleep hygiene routines and talk to your doctor before sleep deprivation becomes a problem.

Slipping Grades

For many students, the first indication that something is wrong can be slipping grades. When you’re starting to lose the ability to focus and you’re always second-guessing yourself, your performance is going to suffer. If you’ve noticed that you’re having difficulty maintaining your GPA, you might be under too much stress.

Loss of Motivation

If you’ve always been driven to succeed and suddenly find it difficult to want to do anything, it may be a sign that the stress is becoming too much. Wasting time looking at mundane internet memes while you know you should be studying is a likely indicator that something is wrong.

Amelie Mahone is a loving wife and a mother of 3. She loves to read about history and write articles on various topics, such as: business, education, history, teaching. As a young mum, Amelie also likes to read about motivation and parenting.


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