7 Incredibly Useful Tips for College Students with Anxiety

7 Incredibly Useful Tips for College Students with Anxiety

The National College Health Assessment found out in 2019 that almost 70 percent of college students experience “overwhelming anxiety.” The pandemic just made things worse, especially for international students. 

When Covid-19 struck the world, a lot of students in Canada lost their jobs, and some had reduced work hours. This leads to a lot of stress. While the domestic students in Canada could go to their homes and had a support system, most of the international students were stranded in Canada due to the price of the ticket to fly back home and border restrictions.

A survey conducted by researchers at Carlton University revealed that the pandemic exposed the vulnerable mental state of international students. The survey threw light on the fact that over 50% of international students were at risk of anxiety disorder. 

Before we move further, let us understand what anxiety is. Anxiety is characterized by a feeling of fear and uneasiness. It might also cause you to sweat profusely, have an increased heartbeat, and be restless and tense. If you are an international student who feels like this, please read on. This article talks about international college students and anxiety. Some students with anxiety also deal with depression and lack of sleep. We have listed some common causes of anxiety among international students and ways to cope with them which might prove helpful to you.

College Students and Anxiety- Common Causes

Financial Stress

Studying in Canada can cause a hole in the pocket. Moreover, international students work part-time jobs to cover their living and tuition costs. This responsibility leads to financial stress. The arrival of the pandemic just made things worse as many lost their jobs or had to work reduced hours which meant less pay. Some lost parental or spousal income. This caused financial hardship among international students.

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Academic Stress

The pandemic forced colleges and universities to switch to online modes of teaching. Many international students found it hard to adjust to online classes. The institutions also shut down their campuses, and domestic students returned to their homes to prevent the transmission of Covid-19. But international students could not return to their home countries.

Academic Stress

Language Barriers

Language barrier is another cause of anxiety in international students. Most international students who come to Canada quickly discover that locals speak English a little more quickly than they do. And some struggle to speak English confidently or fluently. Language barriers could result from this, making it difficult for numerous people to communicate with one another. Some people could feel as though they don’t belong because of communication problems. Additionally, language is very important in the dissemination of knowledge. As a result, it could be challenging for international students to achieve academic success if they encounter linguistic challenges. A person’s confidence and self-esteem may be affected by language problems, which also impede the process of acculturation and the development of English fluency.

Culture Shock and Homesickness

 When they arrive in Canada, many international students experience a culture shock. In comparison to their native nation, there are many differences in the laws, the style of life, and the way people interact with one another. In addition, they have the additional obligations of paying rent, cooking and performing a part-time job while they are students. Therefore, it takes some time for overseas students to acclimate to this brand-new atmosphere. However, some people find it quite challenging to adapt to this new way of life.

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After they arrive in Canada and find themselves in a foreign and unfamiliar environment, homesickness also sets in. They start missing their accustomed surroundings, family, and friends. The pandemic just made things worse. International students couldn’t go home, and many lost their parents or other loved ones.


Coping Methods for College Students With Anxiety

Here is a list of things that might help you cope with anxiety.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation are said to have a calming effect. Yoga helps remove stress and deep-rooted worries. It includes asanas, breathing exercises, meditation and relaxation techniques. Meditation helps in stabilizing one’s mind and is very helpful in managing stress. Sign up for a yoga class and practice yoga and meditation to cope with anxiety.


Eat Healthy

While a healthy diet doesn’t cure anxiety, it might make some changes to your overall mood and health. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and cut down on sugar and junk food. 

Try Journaling 

Journaling is a highly recommended way of coping with stress. It is a very fun and enjoyable way of dealing with stress. It helps you work through your anxious feelings and is a powerful tool for examining your anxious thoughts. You can try journaling every day, week or whenever the stress becomes too much for you to handle.


Connect with Friends

Surrounding yourself with friends can prove to be very helpful for your mental health. It increases your sense of belonging, increases self-confidence, and boosts your happiness. Connect with your friends and family back at home also. Attend community events, hang out with friends, and engage in fun activities with them. 

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Cut Back or Quit Caffeine

While caffeine helps us stay awake and alert, consuming too much caffeine can cause anxiety symptoms or worsen anxiety. Therefore, it is better to cut down your caffeine consumption or simply quit caffeine if it affects your mental health.

Make Use of College/University Resources

Colleges and Universities offer short-term therapy for students. You can try it out. They also offer other services and support to their international student community. Check your college and university website to find out more.

Seek Professional Help

If you have anxiety or are unable to handle the stress. Therapy or medications will be very helpful. Your health insurance might help you cover the expenses. 


Is Canada a friendly country?

Canada is a very safe place, and Canadians are very friendly and polite. It is a multicultural country that welcomes people from all around the world with different beliefs and ethics. Canada is also considered to be one of the safest countries for international students. That is why a large number of international students prefer studying in Canada. However, a huge chunk of international students suffers from anxiety. This is caused due to a number of reasons, some of which are financial stress, academic stress, homesickness, and culture shock.

Is the life of international students in Canada easy?

Canada is one of the best countries in the world for studying abroad. It provides world-class education, and students from all over the world come here in the hopes of getting a quality education and a better quality of life. But international students also have to deal with stress and anxiety due to culture shock, homesickness, financial stress, academic stress, etc. Therefore, while Canada offers a good quality of life, the life of international students is not always easy. They sure have to deal with a lot.

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