How to support stressed students

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By Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Learning how you can support a stressed college student may be more meaningful than you think.

Charity Whitson, Staff Writer

As a nation, we have faced major changes in 2020. For many students, normalcy is a thing of the past, leading to higher levels of emotions and stress.

With five weeks left until the end of the semester, finals approaching quickly, COVID-19 cases increasing and an election underway, college students are overwhelmed. Most likely, you know a college student personally, or cross paths with one here and there. Please consider the following ways you can support college students in your community or at home.

1. Show grace and patience.
Having your student back at home for virtual learning can disrupt daily routines. The both of you will be expected to adjust to a new routine and schedule. Show your student grace and patience by giving them time to adjust to these changes. Students on campus are also facing disruption to their daily lives as they have to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines nearly 24/7. While trying to balance homework, jobs and a social life, students can quickly become bogged down. Understand this and do not assume they have it all together.

2. Encourage a routine
Responsibilities have changed in this unprecedented season. This can make it very easy to fall off course and become distracted. Encourage a routine of productiveness that allows your student to stay on task. With the time change students may find it difficult to do more than attend class and submit assignments. Encourage students to stay active and to take care of themselves not only physically, but also mentally. Plan weekly phone calls or send a monthly package to give them something to look forward to.

3. Support their hobbies
Some students may find themselves looking for ways to relieve stress. With free time to spare, they may either choose to be productive, or to watch Netflix. Whatever a student chooses to do with their free time, as long as it is not harmful to their wellbeing or someone else’s, support them. Having an outlet and a way to enjoy passing time will benefit your student greatly.

4. Be a source of positivity
With all of the changes happening, it is normal for your student to feel uncertain about their future. They may become depressed and their anxiety levels may increase. Support them through these feelings and do not invalidate their experiences. Encourage your student to stay positive and keep working towards their goal.

Support from family, friends and a community can go a long way for college students during these strange times. Be understanding, have compassion and show kindness. A college student will appreciate it.

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