Monday, April 12, 2004

It's hard to have it so easy 

Do we shelter our high-schoolers so much that they can't cope with the changes to college life? According to an article in yesterday's BarSpitoon, the answer appears to be 'yes'. At SCSU we are getting more and more stories of students having mental-health issues, but these numbers tend to be a little bit misleading. First, from the article:
at Carleton College, also in Northfield, 42 percent of the students will have had at least some mental-health counseling by the time they graduate, Carleton officials said. By far, the most common diagnosis is depression, which affects some 15 to 20 percent of college students both nationally and in Minnesota. Severe anxiety is a close second.

Those numbers are about the same for the population as a whole. But stressed-out college kids are particularly vulnerable, experts say.
15-20% of us nationally are depressed? And if it's the same nationally as in universities, from where comes this vacuous phrase "stressed-out kids are particularly vulnerable", which seems tautological.

The change from high school to college can be overwhelming, sure. We all have had the experience of the freshman dorm from which many friends from orientation are gone by spring. What makes it more stressful today than twenty-five years ago?