Why Are Students Stressed? 6 Reasons (Updated for 2018)

Student with a pile of booksIn today’s busy world, I think that students are potentially exposed to a number of sources of stress, both in the learning environment and in general life environments. Problems can arise if stress levels in one overflows into the other. Knowing about a number of different studying approaches can help and this is why there are a number of highly related books sold by Amazon mentioned in this post. One or more of those books may provide practical information which you find hits the nail on the head for you. Reading books is a great way to learn about things, once you give yourself that space.

A study published in 2018 that studied 335 High School students showed the following stressors in the actual academic environment:-
1. Exams
2. Homework and work outside of school
3. Giving presentations
4. Competition with classmates
5. Academic overload

Other sources of stress for these 335 High School students included:-
1. Family problems
2. Anxiety about upcoming school terms
3. Difficulty adapting to change and body image perception

These 335 High Schools students responded in the following ways to these stressors:-
1. Listening to music
2. Talking about the problem with a friend
3. Physical exercise
4. Going out with friends
5. Talking to a relative
6. Sleeping more than usual
7. Watching TV
8. Eating more than usual
9. Smoking
10. Drinking some alcohol

To read more about this study, click here to read High School Students, Stress and A Descriptive Study.

Please note that the above study refers to 335 High School Students aged 15 to 19 years old. Results from other studies for other student groups may be different.

Reason 1 why students are stressed

Examinations and tests affects most students. Students that do not score well in examinations and tests stress about whether they will score enough and students that do score well, stress about maintaining a good score. It is said that high achievers do experience a lot of stress about doing well in examinations and tests.

Successful students have a number of good habits that they have acquired over time. They have acquired these good habits over time. Maybe they were really lucky and a mentor talked with them about good study habits which they took on board. Or maybe they were really lucky and they read a book (or part of a book) about good study habits which they took on board. Or maybe they saw their role models following good study habits which they took on board. Today there are books that contain information about good study habits.

Reason 2 why students are stressed

Having to do a lot of work outside of the classroom or lecture hall known as homework or preparation. This means that a lot of time is spent doing this work assuming that the student actually spends the proper amount of time doing this work. If they do not, maybe for health reasons eg students get sick too, or maybe for financial reasons eg a lot of students have part time jobs in order to support their studies, this time is just not available. These part time jobs may have job requirements to be in the part time job even when the student should be spending that time studying. That is a conflict and adds to the stress levels experienced by those student. If the student in this situation is thinking “When they are working, they should be studying and when they are studying, they should be working” that is a horrible conflict which can lead to stress.

If a student falls behind, it can add to the stress experienced by that student.

Reason 4 why students are stressed

The last reason was related to the amount of study related work that is done or is expected of the student outside of the classroom or outside of the lecture hall. This is similar but is the amount of study related work that the student is expected to do inside of the classroom or lecture hall or in the lab. Some courses will have a physical component and this includes spending time in labs doing experiments or in computer rooms. This is more a problem for college students or university students.

Reason 5 why students are stressed

If a student does not have good skills in organising things, this can raise stress levels. Having good organising skills is a must as this helps students on a practical level. Being able to plan and schedule student life inside of life in general is very important.

Having a workable plan that is well organised helps a student to focus on student things when in student mode, so that the other things in life are not overlooked.

Maybe getting one or more of the highly related books below may help in this regard. Please remember to read and apply the information provided in these books if you get any of them.

Reason 6 why students are stressed

Not getting the required eight to ten hours of quality sleep every night.

For a number of suggestions and ideas about getting enough quality sleep, see my Look at your sleep routine in My Top 10 Stress Management Techniques – Reduce Stress in Your Life article. When there, look at the other nine techniques. These are ten general stress management techniques that will also help students as well.


Above are 6 reasons why students are stressed today. This is only a very small subset of reasons why students may be stressed. As well as that, there may be perceived issues or actual issues regarding not receiving emotional help/support and practical help/support from family and other people.

I recommend a number of different strategies to help manage stress. For a number of effective strategies to manage stress, click here to read my Detailed Article Detailing A Number Of Effective Strategies To Manage Stress.

For students I would also suggest a number of student stress management strategies as well such as:-

– Understanding the course agenda.

– Ask your teachers/lecturers for advice. Explain that you want to get the “most bang” for your study time. What topics on the course are required and what are optional? Focus on the essentials first and make sure that you have a really good understanding of the essentials before looking at the optional stuff.

– Assuming that the course agenda has not changed in recent times, look at past examinations and tests to see the type of questions that come up. Actually answer those questions both in ‘research mode’ and in ‘mock test mode’ within the allocated time period. Then see if your teachers/lecturers will review those for you and maybe provide additional pointers for you. For instance, I learned in a ‘mock’ test when the question was open, that a way to answer that type of question, was to ask myself “what who where when and how” and answer those questions in my answer. This allowed me in future tests to answer these additional sub questions when applicable. I knew this information and needed to let the person marking my examinations that I knew this information.

– Determine a good routine that works for you. Some students spend some time studying with other students doing the same course. Some students will always study using a study desk at home or in their student digs. Some students will always study in the library at their place of learning. Having a well defined routine and following a well defined routine will help.

– Make sure that you include enough time on non study activities so that your life is balanced.

To read more about resources to help with stress and the like, click here to read Resources To Help With Stress And The Like.

Here’s The Next Step…

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Why do you think students are stressed out?

Is technology helping the students of today or is it a double edged sword?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

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