More Students Choose to Skip College to Prioritize Mental Health: Poll Reveals
A recent study has revealed that many students choose to skip college for mental health reasons.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 41% of students enrolled in postsecondary programs have contemplated discontinuing their education within the past six months.
It marks a significant increase from the 33% reported during the initial year of the COVID pandemic.
Among the reasons for considering dropping out, “emotional stress” was the most common factor, at 55%, and “personal mental health reasons” followed next. Gallup added it to the poll for the first time this year, and 47% of respondents cited it.
These findings suggest that mental health is a significant factor in students’ decisions about their education.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 23, 2023
In recent years, mental health concerns among college students have become increasingly common, with rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues arising.
What Could be Causing Mental Health Issues among College Students?
The pressure to succeed academically, the financial burden of student loans, and the challenges of transitioning to adulthood can all contribute to these struggles.
The results of the Gallup survey, conducted with support from the Lumina Foundation, also indicate that students pursuing a four-year degree program appear to be struggling more, with nearly half of those seeking a bachelor’s degree reporting frequent experiences of emotional stress.
The survey polled 12,015 adults aged 18-59 in the US between October and November last year. Participants were required to have a high school degree or equivalent and still needed to complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
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Furthermore, the survey revealed gender disparities. There are 47% of female students reported frequent emotional stress, while only 30% of male students did so.
In contrast to students aged 25 and above, only 29% of those in the 18-24 age group indicated often feeling stressed, according to the study.
The report also revealed that even as pandemic-related restrictions ease, associate or bachelor’s degree students were equally as likely in 2022 as in 2021 to have contemplated discontinuing their studies before completion.
Notably, the degree’s inability to assist them in achieving their personal goals was the least frequently cited reason for students considering dropping out.
For many students, the decision to prioritize mental health over college is a difficult one. Society often sees higher education as necessary for career success and financial stability.
However, the toll that college can take on mental health can be significant. Students can prioritize their well-being and can better thrive in the long term.
The Need for Mental Health Support in Colleges
Colleges and universities need to address the mental health issues of their students. These can include providing access to counseling and other mental health services.
Colleges can also create a supportive campus environment and offer academic accommodations for students with mental health conditions.
By favoring the well-being of their students, colleges can help to alleviate some stress. They can also reduce the pressure that can contribute to mental health issues.
Fortunately, there are alternatives for students to prioritize mental health over college.
Online learning platforms, vocational training programs, and apprenticeships are all options that can provide valuable skills. These options can also give job opportunities without the stress of a traditional college experience.
Additionally, seeking therapy and other mental health resources can help students manage their symptoms. Thus, they can make informed decisions about their future.