Causes of student stress

Stress can be causes by many factors. On this page you can read more about the most common things that cause stress in students.

Performance pressure

Performance pressure is a common feeling among students. So it’s not surprising if you suffer from it. Sometimes it’s because you try to compare yourself with others or because you feel that you have to distinguish yourself from others.

In addition to performance pressure during your studies, there is also pressure to maintain social contacts, spend a year on the board of a student or study association, work, do volunteer work, plan beautiful holidays or trips and study abroad. Everything can be bigger or better, but when is it enough?

Social media

Social media is linked to performance pressure. This is because on social media everyone looks successful and happy. So it’s not surprising if you have the feeling you don’t meet the desired standard, nobody can! The image built up on social media is not a real identity.

In addition, social media apps have been developed in such a way that you want to be constantly informed - making it difficult to put the phone down. Are you able to put your phone down? Putting your phone down may help you live longer.

Shame about stress

You aren’t the only one who is ashamed about stress complaints. Most students only seek help once the symptoms have already become serious. And you aren’t the only one who wants to tell everyone, after stress has been signalled (in the past), how well you’re doing now. Even though the stories sometimes show that you are still suffering from stress complaints.

Parental pressure

Several students indicate that they feel under pressure to make their parents proud. Parents put pressure on their children because they want to protect them from failure. These parents are also known as curling parents. So it’s possible that your parents are doing this and thus leaving you with little room to make wrong choices and mistakes for yourself.

Did you learn to fail?

Scholarships and cultural differences

As an international student, and sometimes also as a Dutch student, you have to cope with the change of place of residence and/or country, getting used to a new culture, making new social contacts and a completely different educational system - all these are major changes. The pressure from your parents and other family members can play a role because in some cases they have contributed financially to your studies. After obtaining a scholarship, the pressure to complete your studies is enormous, because any delay in your studies is not always paid for by the scholarship provider.

In addition, there is the pressure that if you don’t obtain enough credits, your residence permit may be withdrawn. Not all international students need help with stress and mental complaints.

Do you dare to ask for help if you need it? Read more about stress for internationals.

Loan system

In many cases, the introduction of the loan system is the cause of stress for students as they try to complete their studies as quickly as possible. Every extra year you need to complete your study, increases your study debt.

In addition, students don’t want to borrow -or want to borrow as little as possible - because they are afraid of the consequences of study debt, for example when they want to buy a house later.

Do you know the consequences?

Binding study advice

Although the BSA standard at WUR is relatively low, you may experience stress from having to comply with the BSA. This is in addition to all the other stress factors in the first college year, such as getting used to living on your own, making new contacts or getting used to a new city, etc.

Do you know the requirements?

Other causes

Sometimes, being unable to find the right kind of help causes stress. In addition, difficult subjects are taught in the same period which means that you suddenly have to work a lot harder for your studies than in other periods. The short periods 3 and 4 are experienced as intensive because there is a lot of group work which students find stressful. Students often indicate that the thesis is also a source of stress. What gives you stress?