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Death by FAFSA

College stress in students is rising like tuition

By Bridget Berg, Activist staff
On September 18, 2015

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As much as it may be a running joke among college students, the stress that FAFSA, and college in general, puts on those students has been deemed to be seriously deadly. Over the past year, the percentage of students who have admitted to having depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts has increased. “The work and school load is heavy enough for those who already have depression and anxiety, so their symptoms flare. And those that don’t, can easily start developing both,” says student Hunter Burleson. 

Blue Ash is a community college, as we all know. Unfortunately community colleges’ budgets are the first to get drastically cut. Some of you may not feel the cut directly, but it is becoming an issue. The issue is that in many cases there isn’t the proper counseling for those who suffer from depression and anxiety. 

Community colleges experience depression and anxiety much differently than bigger campuses. Blue Ash has a diverse population pertaining to age and individual’s unique life courses. 

For students who choose to attend community college because they can’t afford to go to a bigger university or those who are older with kids and didn’t get to a chance to go to college in their earlier years, life outside of the classroom can be hectic. Some of those students feel regret about not going to college when they were younger, or those that live in low-income high stressed households feel overwhelmed. These situations don’t apply to everyone who makes the decision to go to a community college, however the majority face similar stress in their lives. Even without those scenarios college is a big step, and can cause stress in the sense that it expects more out of students than high school does.

For traditional students straight out of high school, college puts on the heat. It pressures you to have your life planned out, a concrete major decided along with your career, and then how you’ll go about paying off your student loans as soon as you graduate. We just left high school where we still had to raise our hands to go to the bathroom, and now they want us to pick a lifelong career? Terrifying.

The big question is: how are colleges and universities handling the escalation? In an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, they explain that community colleges don’t usually have counselors like some of the more prestigious colleges. Most times community college counselors are also academic advisors, or have other responsibilities and lack the main focus of getting students help due to their juggling. So, these students don’t get devoted time and low-cost solutions have to be put into play, which in theory doesn’t do any justice. Fortunately, Blue Ash has a counselor who is there to help students: Jill Trigg. For information a website is provided: 

Depression and anxiety isn’t something to take lightly. As previously stated, college is life changing and can weigh heavily on those who already have a lot to carry, and those who are fresh out of twelfth grade. It’s also important to note that community college, despite it’s lower budget, isn’t a negative option for obtaining higher education. So, one thing is for sure, that bearcats can stick together, and that’s definitely an upside of being a small community college.


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