By the time they are nearing graduation, college students should be aware that the college years, for all the good they bring, are far from being easy and carefree. According to the data from the 2016 Annual Report by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, exactly half of the students in the United State have attended counseling for mental health concerns. When compared to the data on the national level, which shows that roughly 18% of United States residents aged 18 and above have a mental health issue, it’s evident that students are an especially vulnerable part of the population.
According to the CCMH report, the main mental health concern students face are issues with anxiety, followed by depression, stress, family issues, and academic performance. And while it would be possible write off some of those issues as growing pains everyone faces on their road to adulthood, it would be hard to deny that students, especially those nearing their graduation, are facing some real hardships.
The Pressure of Students’ Finances
The amount of student loan debt in the United States is reaching a critical point, so much so that some, including Forbes, are calling it a crisis. As of 2017, there were forty-four millions of Americans with total student loan debt of $1.44 trillion, or almost $32,000 per person. More than one in ten people who have student loan debt has troubles keeping up with the loan payments.
What makes these numbers really troubling is the fact that, between the years 1990 and 2015, more than 70% of students have been working while in college, according to a Georgetown University research. Just in 2011, 72% of college students were working, as were 82% of grad school or professional school students.
Loans don’t have to be a student’s first choice for financing studies – in fact, students are advised to look for grants and scholarships before applying for a loan. If that doesn’t help, students might want to apply for loans with a fixed interest rate that’s tax-deductible. To reduce the financial pressure, students can also apply for loans that don’t require them to make payments while they’re in college. The most common student loans are the federal ones, which usually meet all of the criteria.
While students facing graduation worry about their financial situation and try to reduce their reliance on student loans as much as possible, they also have to meet their academic requirements. Students nearing graduation also have very little time for anything besides preparing for exams and going to work. Those who want to continue their education need to think about taking the GRE, LSAT, GMAT, or MCAT. Those who are finishing a master’s degree program need to think about their thesis.
Blow off some steam is paramount for students nearing their graduation. It’s important to fit in some relaxing, fun, enjoyable activities even though it might seem as they have very little time for anything apart from studying and working. Maintaining a good mindset, eating a healthy diet, getting enough of sleep are some of the things that can help students feel less stressed. They will also increase the students’ productivity, and as long as the students start organizing their time early enough, all of these things can become a habit well before the chaos of those final months sets in.
Joining the Workforce
Even though the majority of students work through their college, finding a job once they finish their studies is a major concern. The post-college employment statistics from 2015 show that almost 89% of 20- to 24-year-olds with a bachelor’s degree or higher are employed, as are almost 83% of 25- to 64-year-olds with the same level of education. No one wants to find themselves in the percentages that are not able to find a job after graduation, and getting a well-paying job can be paramount given the current state of student loan debt.
There are many strategies graduate students can use to make sure they are prepared for the moment they send out their first resume. The latest infographic from HandMadeWritings outlines some of the necessities and challenges of modern job hunting, and it can guide students through the whole process of finding a job – from identifying the skills employers are looking for, to writing a resume and preparing for an interview.
Donna Moores is a professional recruiter and a writer who aims to help people find a job of their dream. She has spent more than 5 years to gain an outstanding HR experience within biggest industries and businesses. Follow her on FB and check out her Professional Blog.