Helping College Students With Social Anxiety

Many kids experience social anxiety as they transition into college. Here's how you can help.


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Photo courtesy of Motortion Films/Shutterstock.com

Do you have a teen going into or already in college? Anxiety is becoming increasingly common in college students, which is negatively impacting their studies and ability to socialize with others. One of my close relatives has had to deal with anxiety as a college student, which has showed me the extent of its negative impacts. By researching this subject, I've learned that anxiety and other mental health issues have become far more prevalent than they were in the past, and if society does not care about this growing problem, they are effectively tossing this generation of students aside.

One 2010 study by Dr. Lindsay S. Ham and others reports research on the correlation between social anxiety and problematic alcohol usage. Ham’s study found that because college students constantly meet new people and collaborate with fellow students, social anxiety is amplified. Researchers found that while the relationship between alcohol usage and social anxiety is complex, correlations between the two exist. This article both supports and contradicts common knowledge about social anxiety, as Ham’s study finds that some students with social anxiety find relief by engaging in social activities, while others to refuse to participate in social activities for the same reason.

Later research reported by Dr. Leah D. Doane in 2015 states that there is a correlation between anxiety and sleep deprivation among young adults. Doane’s research suggests that the amount of sleep teens and young adults get is significantly lower than people of other ages due to large amounts of school activity. Doane also states that the adjustment to college is a jarring shift, as students’ personal relationships drastically change. Doane’s results found an increase in self-reported anxiety symptoms and issues with sleep and mental health in young adults. The implications of this study are that students at American institutions are under enough stress to cause issues with their mental health and sleeping patterns.

Another study by Dr. Anjana Madan of 209 college students ages 18-24, published in 2014, suggests that young people having so much freedom to look at media is causing them to develop mental health disorders such as anxiety. Madan states that adolescents and young adults have more exposure to media through the use of modern technology than previous generations did. Madan shows through her results that the students who witnessed the most media violence had the highest rates of reported anxiety symptoms.

If your teen or young adult is dealing with anxiety, there are solutions that can aid in alleviating those symptoms. Having the student seek counseling at his or her institution is also a good option. One thing many parents have trouble doing is letting their child face their anxiety on their own. Dr. Eli Lebowitz says using methods such as Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) or cognitive behavioral therapy are additional options for anxiety therapy.

By helping children away from home deal with their anxiety, parents can help their student make the most of his or her studies and time in college.

 

Guest blogger Jeremy Soper is an undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill majoring in business administration.

 

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Come by the Finley Center any time during the day to participate in a collaborative community art project celebrating what you are thankful for! Play a game of “Roll a Turkey” and take home...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Girls ages 5-12 take their favorite doll and have a creative time together preparing for the holidays. Register by emailing llpolkhouse2@gmail.com.

Cost: $22/attendee, $20/sister

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Historic Polk House
537 N. Blount St.
Raleigh, NC  27604
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Telephone: 919-676-6368
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Fun for the entire family, enjoy this wonderful, witty retelling of a classic fairy-tale. With a score consisting of well-known pop songs, follow Snow White and her Seven Dwarves as they try to...

Cost: $10-$60/person

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 East South Street
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-996-8700
Contact Name: Blake Jones
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Cost: $10-$60/person

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Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 East South Street
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Telephone: 919-996-8700
Contact Name: Blake Jones
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Cost: For all ages; FREE. Registration is required for everyone

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
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Telephone: 919-662-2854
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Cost: $10-$60/person

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Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 East South Street
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Cost: $0

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Duke School
3716 Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Telephone: 919-416-9420
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Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

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Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Telephone: 919-387-4342
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Cost: FREE. Registration is required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
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Telephone: 919-662-2850

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Design and create a keepsake apron with vibrant markers and other fun decorations. After completing your apron, enjoy baking and decorating your own individual cake. Ages 6-10. 

Cost: $35/resident, $45/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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Cost: $10-$60/person

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Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 East South Street
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Orange County Public Library
137 W Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 191-924-52539
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Cost: $22/person or $33/couple

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Project Enlightenment
501 S. Boylan Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Cost: $10-$60/person

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Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
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Cost: Free admission

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Hope Community Church
2080 E Williams St
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Cost: Free

Where:
Wake Forest Presbyterian Church
12605 Capital Blvd
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Sponsor: Wake Forest Presbyterian Church
Telephone: 919-556-7777
Contact Name: Meghan Reynolds
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Cost: $5 Resident/$6 nonresident

Where:
Chapel Hill Community Clay Studio
200 Plant Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
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Sponsor: Community Clay Studio and Chapel Hill Teen Center
Telephone: 919-968-2878
Contact Name: Robena Meek
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Cost: $10-$60/person

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2 East South Street
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Telephone: 919-996-8700
Contact Name: Blake Jones
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Cost: Free

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Greenwood Forest Baptist Church
110 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Cost: $28 + taxes and fees

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The Clayton Center
111 E. Second Street
Clayton, NC  27520
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Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
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Cost: Free

Where:
Baileywick Road Park
9501 Baileywick Rd
Second Shelter Field
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Sponsor: Raleigh Redhawks Rugby
Contact Name: denise travis
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See award-winning houses from the Town of Cary's 9th Annual Gingerbread House Competition on display. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
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Girls ages 5-12 take their favorite doll and have a creative time together preparing for the holidays. Register by emailing llpolkhouse2@gmail.com.

Cost: $22/attendee, $20/sister

Where:
Historic Polk House
537 N. Blount St.
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Telephone: 919-676-6368
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Cost: $21/child

Where:
Middle Creek Community Center
125 Middle Creek Ave.
Apex, NC  27539
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Cost: Free

Where:
Lafayette Village
8450 Honeycutt Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Make an angel out of polymer clay to hang on a tree. Register online. Choose course #127353.

Cost: $19/resident, $25/nonresident

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Drive
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Website »

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As a Christmas gift to our community and surrounding area, Wake Forest Presbyterian Church delivers the true Christmas story in a stirring virtual “walk” through Bethlehem to the stable...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wake Forest Presbyterian Church
12605 Capital Blvd
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Sponsor: Wake Forest Presbyterian Church
Telephone: 919-556-7777
Contact Name: Meghan Reynolds
Website »

More information

Ages 3-12 and their fathers enjoy a night of dancing, light refreshments, photos and more. Registration required at Rolesville Community Center.

Cost: $25.00 per couple, non-resident $30.00 per couple, $10.00 per additional child

Where:
Rolesville Community Center
514 Southtown Circle
Rolesville, NC  27571
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Website »

More information

Fun for the entire family, enjoy this wonderful, witty retelling of a classic fairy-tale. With a score consisting of well-known pop songs, follow Snow White and her Seven Dwarves as they try to...

Cost: $10-$60/person

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 East South Street
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-996-8700
Contact Name: Blake Jones
Website »

More information

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