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Understanding Student Anxiety + How You Can Help Your Child.

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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Understanding Student Anxiety + How You Can Help Your Child.

Student Anxiety can come from many sources.

For many teenagers, the last years of high school and the first steps to adulthood are a time of excitement, new experiences, and stress.


Student Anxiety is a leading cause of depression in young adults.


However high school juniors and seniors are not exempt.


This age group is supposed to enjoy some of the best years of their lives but they often experience angst when deciding if college is the right choice for them.


Children and young adults may experience anxiety in regard to living up to personal and family expectations.


They may be leaving home for the first time. They may experience issues adjusting to their new schedules and new expectations.



For the college-bound senior there is also the student anxiety of choosing the right college, applying for scholarships, and getting good scores on the ACT and SAT exams



These and other situations can leave a child feeling isolated and like a virtual fish out of the water.


Be aware of the signs of student anxiety and depression.


According to The Mayo Clinic, these can include:


  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as hobbies or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that aren’t your responsibility
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.
  • Academic problems are not consistent with her or her previous performance.


In addition to your personal resources, most college campuses offer mental health support.

If you fear that your child is in danger of hurting themselves, or someone else, call 911 and/or the campus police.


If you feel that extra support is needed aside from what you can provide, a mental health treatment center can offer the student what they need. Everyone deserves the chance to recover and treating the problem is the best way to be on the road to recovery.


If your child is experiencing sadness, anxiety or any issues do not allow time to pass before giving them the resources that they need.

Coaching is an incredible resource for your child and for you. Click To Tweet



We must also consider the parent of the student anxiety.


Student anxiety is certainly not reserved exclusively for the student.


As a parent, you may worry about whether or not your child will be happy and if they have made the right decisions.


If you are paying for their college and/or living expenses you may have financial concerns.


As well, you may be experiencing feelings of sadness as your little bird flies away from the nest.


This may even be compounded by the fact that for the first time in your 18-year-old’s life you will not automatically get information from the school or your child’s healthcare team.


If your young adult chooses to give you access to their personal information they will need to sign a release form.


If, as a parent, or a college student you want some helpful support and guidance set up a free consultation today. Just email elise@askdrho.com.

To Your Health,

Elise Ho, Ph.D., D.N.Psy



Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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12 thoughts on “Understanding Student Anxiety + How You Can Help Your Child.”

  1. Timely article for parents, students, and teachers alike. Each student is different and therefore have different things causing them anxiety in life. So, as a teacher or parent we must all be alert and adaptable to the needs of our children and/or students. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m fully onboard about gap year. Young adults should have the opportunity to have a journey for self realization. I believe this is a very important part of a young adults journey to shape and mold their life.

    1. The gap year can really help them to figure out what they want including if they even want to go to traditional higher education. Plus they gain some maturity along the way. Thank you for commenting.

  3. I had student anxiety starting as young as upper elementary/ middle school and it was not easy to overcome at all. I spent so many years feeling sick to my stomach at school and while my teachers and parents were aware and tried to help I honestly felt like there wasn’t much they could do. I eventually learned to overcome my anxiety but it was tough. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Encouraging Hearts and Home. Pinned.

    1. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your story. Anxiety is not at all easy to overcome. I am happy that you had the help of your family and teachers. How did you eventually overcome?

  4. I have two teens (14 and 16) and I completely get how much pressure these kids are under. They have so many more opportunities than we had, but a lot of those added opportunities also bring added pressure. I really try to make sure my kids understand than even though we want them to work hard, we totally understand that they have limits and they need down time too and we try to make sure they know that they can talk to us. So far they are still talking to us, which is soooo great.

    1. Julie, it sounds as if you are a dedicated and warm momma. That is the main thing that the kids need. Knowing their parent has their back makes all of the difference. I do agree that in these times of so many options that there is also a great deal of overwhelm.

  5. Erika Mohssen-Beyk

    This is very sad and I wonder why this happens. In our time the kids have a lot of possibilities.
    We should not put them under pressure. My Granddaughter just finished high school and she will take a year off and travel. Last year another granddaughter living in Germany was here, she too took one year and traveled the world.
    This way they learn a lot about life and about other cultures and gain confidence. Also, they have time to really make sure that what they chose to do after this is really what they love. In my opinion, this should be common.
    Thank you for making me aware of these difficulties.

    1. You are so very welcome, Erika. I agree that what you described should be common. In Israel, the average to start college is in the 20s. They first go tot he army and then will often follow up with a year of travel.

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.