The Corner


College Applicants Have More to Worry about Than Ever

There was always some anxiety for young people contemplating the beginning of college, but our current health crisis has raised the level greatly. In today’s Martin Center article, Anthony Hennen explains that they are turning more and more to counselors for supposedly expert help.

He writes, “Counselors disagree about the extent of the change and why students are more anxious. The type and causes of anxiety also differ depending on what type of college students attend. But higher education is devoting more time and money to student anxiety than in the recent past.”

College counseling has become a growth industry, one that often assists wealthy families.

Hennen quotes Jake Rosen, a college counselor located in Philadelphia:

“Living on social media has not necessarily been good for mental health,” Rosen said. The pressure and competition students feel to get into the best school weighs them down. Even when students are out of school, social pressure follows them home.

“There’s a lot more anxiety and depression and pressure and school avoidance or concerns about bullying and the effects of social media, and it’s changed a lot, even since I was a high school student,” Rosen said. “The kids who are in school now are in a different world. They do seem, in a broader sense, to be struggling with it and dealing with more mental health issues than students were, you know, when I was in high school.”

Increasing number of students report “overwhelming anxiety” about college. I suspect that’s because we have so terribly oversold the idea that their futures depend on getting into the “best school.”

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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