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Anxiety in post-secondary students: Symptoms, Causes, Statistics, and Solutions



Post-secondary students experience ever-increasing levels of anxiety in a more competitive academic landscape. For many university students, the initial excitement of beginning a new school year gives way to the stress of assignments and exams. The experience of students now is far different from that of 20 years ago. The issue of anxiety has been a rising trend among university students and has gravely affected academic performance.

Causes and Symptoms of Post-Secondary Anxiety


There is not one exact reason for rising levels of anxiety among students in Canada. Different professors, schools and provinces all pose a plethora of triggers. Common causes for post-secondary anxiety may include academic stress, financial stress, and the failure to provide self-care.


Many feel that academic performance is the defining feature of university success. Good grades equate to opportunities for higher levels of education and a more successful career. Although this may be true for some cases, academic performance should not outweigh self-care. Students should always ensure that they are taking care of themselves before they push their academic performance further. Placing academic performance above self- care can lead to a variety of symptoms that come with anxiety:

• Overwhelming fear of failure

•Apprehensive to eat

•Drastic mood changes

•Lack of concentration

•Intense worries that get in the way of daily activity

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