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Daily Devotional | Come, Let Us Rebuild: A Study of Nehemiah | An ancient stone wall with pillars Daily Devotional | Come, Let Us Rebuild: A Study of Nehemiah | An ancient stone wall with pillars

Questions and Answers | Freshman College Stress

My son is a freshman in college this semester. I have noticed that he is getting more stressed with school and college life as the semester progresses. Should I be concerned?

First, congratulations on having your child in college! Stress is one of the most important problems college students experience, the first major hurdle as they adjust to living on their own.

During this time of year, most first-year students begin to realize that life is not perfect. They may have roommate struggles, increased feelings of loneliness, and academic pressure. This is the first time they are managing life on their own, and it can be overwhelming. In addition to praying for your child (1 Thess. 5:16–18), here are a few suggestions for how you can help during your student’s freshman year:

  1. Communicate with your child. Set up a regular time to check in. Listen as they share their joys and challenges while in school.
  2. Point them to God. Reassure them that God is always present, sees and knows their needs: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
  3. Pay attention to dramatic changes in your child’s behavior or mood. Is your student skipping classes? Sleeping too much? Not making any friends?
  4. Encourage your student to find and use the available resources. Most campuses offer first-year programs and academic tutoring. The resident assistant can also be a good resource.
  5. If the situation does not improve, encourage your student to reach out to seek help at the student counseling or health center.

BY Dr. Valencia Wiggins, PhD, L.P.C.

Valencia Wiggins grew up in Ohio and graduated from Wheaton College. She earned a Masters in Clinical Psychology at Wheaton Graduate School, and PhD in Clinical Psychology at Walden University. She has taught at Moody Seminary for four years. In addition, Dr. Wiggins works in private practice as a clinical psychologist. Her clinical work includes sexual abuse, trauma, grief and loss, eating disorders, family issues, depression, adolescents, and women’s issues.

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