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College Students with Anxiety

How to Free College Students with Anxiety from their Misery

College students with anxiety worry a lot and this affect their lives. There are three main kinds of anxiety; performance, choice and social anxiety.


  1. Performance anxiety

It is fear of how you will perform. You might be worried about how you will perform academically, in a sport or even during a stage performance.

College students with anxiety are unable to perform well or to perform at all. When the fear controls you, it is impossible to give your best in any performance. Due to the fear you have, you concentrate on negative outcomes from your performance. The thought takes charge and the student starts self-prophesying negative things.


If you do not control performance anxiety, then it leads to social and choice anxiety. Common causes of performance anxiety:

  • Mild social anxiety
  • Strong dislike for failure
  • Inexperience in public performance
  • Inborn personality like being shy
  • Humiliating and shameful experiences in the past

For you to deal with performance anxiety, college students with anxiety must realize that it is a step by step process. Just like the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The thing with performance anxiety is that it affects the mind. To undo what is already embedded on the mind may take time. That means you must be diligent to overcome the condition.


Ways of overcoming performance anxiety

  1. Decide to concentrate on the comments of people who support you. These people will always have something positive to say even when you mess up. Focus on them and ignore the rest.
  2. In most cases, performance anxiety will come out when you are under pressure. So why not get used to practicing in places where you feel pressured? If you get used to it, then pressure will not lead to anxiety.
  3. As discussed, anxiety affects the mind so dealing with it involves undoing the negative thoughts and attitudes in your mind. You could deliberately predict a positive outcome to your performance.


One way of doing this is to write positive predictions about your performance before performing. After performing, write positive things about your performance. After sometime, college students with anxiety will develop positive attitudes before and after performing.

Chose activities that will make you happy before and after performing. Keep your spirit up. Choose something that you like to do. In short, deny your mind an opportunity to harbor negative thoughts.


2. Social anxiety

Social anxiety is also known as social phobia. It is common in people who have unreasonable and excessive fear of being criticized, judged or watched closely. This kind of fear revolves around feelings of humiliation and embarrassment.

When you have this condition, you anticipate anxiety even before it happens. When you think or remember a social situation that you dread, anxiety builds up. In some cases, you may develop panic attacks.

The surprising thing about this kind of anxiety is that you know there is no need to fear yet you find yourself anxious beyond your control. You are likely to have negative attitudes towards people and false beliefs which affect the way you handle social situations.


If you suffer from social anxiety, you are likely to fear;

  • Drinking or eating in front of people
  • Using public toilets
  • Working or writing in front of people
  • Talking on the phone
  • Being at the center of attention
  • Asking questions in groups
  • Direct interaction with people like during dates

It is not easy to diagnose college students with anxiety. In fact, most people who suffer from depression, panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder are also diagnosed with social anxiety.

When you go for a diagnosis and the doctor realizes that you have symptoms for anxiety, they carry out a physical examination to rule out physical illness. If all is okay, you are then refereed to a psychiatrist. They use specific interviews and assessment tools to diagnose.


Symptoms of social anxiety disorder

  1. You tend to avoid social situations
  2. You feel very anxious during or before social situations
  3. Physical feelings include sweating, shaking, blushing, confusion, diarrhea, pounding heart, stomach upsets and tension in your muscles


Major Causes of Stress on College Students

  1. Psychological factors – if you suffer an embarrassing or humiliating experience then it remains in your mind, you are likely to suffer from social anxiety.
  2. Environmental reasons – if during your younger years you were over-protected, it denies you an opportunity to learn helpful social skills. So when you realize that an unpleasant response follows a certain action, and then you tend to fear. For example, if college students laugh at others if they say words inappropriately, then you will tend to shy away from speaking in front of people.
  3. Biological factors – anxiety in college students statistics show your genes can increase your likelihood of suffering from social anxiety. Research has also shown that if the part of your brain that regulates the ‘flight and fight’ response, functions abnormally, and then it is likely to lead to the condition.


Treating social anxiety disorder

  1. Medicine such as anti-anxiety medicine, antidepressants and beta-blockers
  2. Cognitive therapy focuses on helping you to face the social situation that triggers anxiety. Instead of avoiding the situations, you are taught how two face them.


The therapy happens in a place where you feel relaxed and safe. The therapist guides you through the process. If the therapist uses systematic desensitization, then he requests you to imagine the situation.

In other occasions, the therapists help you to experience the situation in real life.

  • Counseling helps you to improve the way you look at social situations. Techniques such as deep breathing are also taught during counseling sessions.


  1. Choice anxiety

College students face choice anxiety when they need to make a decision. In most cases, the decision has numerous good or unknown outcomes. You therefore feel afraid to make a choice.

A good example is when choosing your majors or minors in college. Most college students with anxiety get stressed over this choice.

The truth is, there is no one time when you will have full knowledge of a matter before making a decision. It is therefore pointless to worry about the choices you make. Get all the information you can get then go ahead and make a decision confidently.


Anxiety is a normal part of life but when it affects the way you live your life, you should seek treatment. You can be fully healed for it but just like other illnesses, you need to follow the doctor’s instructions carefully.

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Category: Blog