Recent Blog Articles

Harvard Health Blog

Anxiety in college: What we know and how to cope

August 27, 2019

About the Authors

photo of Nicole J. LeBlanc, MA

Nicole J. LeBlanc, MA, Contributor

Nicole J. LeBlanc is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Harvard University, where she conducts research on the association between social factors and the development and maintenance of emotional disorders. She is also a clinical … See Full Bio
View all posts by Nicole J. LeBlanc, MA
photo of Luana Marques, PhD

Luana Marques, PhD, Contributor

Dr. Luana Marques is the director and founder of Community Psychiatry PRIDE at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Associate Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. She completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at The State … See Full Bio
View all posts by Luana Marques, PhD


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


Deepak Sharma
July 8, 2019

Stress is the body’s reaction to a challenge. Though stress is often perceived as bad, it can actually be good in some respects. The right kind of stress can sharpen the mind and reflexes. It might be able to help the body perform better, or help you escape a dangerous situation.Stress produces a physiological reaction in your body. Hormones are released, which results in physical manifestations of stress. These can include slowed digestion, shaking, tunnel vision, accelerated breathing and heart rate, dilation of pupils and flushed skin. This process is often referred to as the “fight or flight” response. That is just what it sounds like: Our bodies are poised to either run away from the stressor or stick around and fight against it.According to the American Psychological Association, there are three types of stress: acute, episodic acute and chronic…(mygenericpharmacy)

Moru Abraham
June 3, 2019

thanks a lot for the knowledge you have about SAD am sure it will help me reduce my anxiety as well while at campus

June 1, 2019

I agree with azure. Mild to moderate anxiety should respond to the measures discussed in this article. Indeed, we all will benefit from exercise, healthful food choices, positive relationships and adequate sleep. But the college situation, life in general, and the anxiety itself make achieving these goals daunting. Even the process of seeking help can be overwhelming.

May 28, 2019

I can only wish there’d be as much data re: college anxiety when I was a student, I spent the first two years at school feeling alone in and ashamed of my anxieties.
I have to laugh at the advice re: getting enough sleep–where did the writers go to college? Did they live in dorms? I had no problem WANTING to sleep, I had to move to a different residential quad to GET any sleep, particularly on weekends–because of all the partying in the courtyard of the first dorm I lived in (until winter arrived, then it probably moved indoors). My 2nd floor window looked out onto the courtyard.
Someone (a counselor) had to tell me that I could move, I didn’t know I could and it sure wasn’t the RA who did. Despite the tight on campus housing situation at that time, I was able to find a room (& a new roommate) in a set of dorms housing mostly grad students, nursing students, foreign students w/a scattering of undergrads like me–those people were far quieter, almost all the time. As for introducing myself to someone, yeah, right, I was quite shy at the time. Quite often, on the occasions I did speak to someone, they weren’t interested. I feel fortunate that I had an off campus activity (a physical activity), I became acquainted w/people (students, non-students) through the activity and by the 2nd semester, it provided a part-time job too.
I feel lucky that my 2nd roommate & I were compatible, we’re still friends many years later, and that a few of the faculty at that school were helpful, kind, & interested in at least some of their students. The school itself was adding at least one major building/year, had some good researchers (sciences) so many of the faculty were more interested in grad students then undergrads, Because of all that was happening, the campus was often physically a mess, and the administratton sometimes fairly disorganized. There were a few mental health people available at the infirmary, but if more then a relatively small % of students had sought help, they would’ve been quickly overwhelmed.
Something I liked about the school though, was a quality that perhaps isn’t something the writers would recommend: the school made it clear that this wasn’t high school: didn’t want to go to class? Fine. If you ended up on academic probation, oh well. Your choice, your problem to solve. I was so tired of being told what to do all the time, that I had to show up even if the instructor was boring, I knew the material already but even if you do, points off or detention if you’re not in class, that I thought having that much choice was great. I usually went to class anyway, but it was my choice, not because someone was using a “stick” to make me go.

Harold A Maio
May 28, 2019

Mental Health Issues: reduce stigma???

It is far wiser to educate people who have been taught to say there is one than to repeat them. See history.

Harold A Maio

Commenting has been closed for this post.

You might also be interested in…

Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Everyone worries or gets scared sometimes. But if you feel extremely worried or afraid much of the time, or if you repeatedly feel panicky, you may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses, affecting roughly 40 million American adults each year. This Special Health Report, Anxiety and Stress Disorders, discusses the latest and most effective treatment approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapies, psychotherapy, and medications. A special section delves into alternative treatments for anxiety, such as relaxation techniques, mindfulness meditation, and biofeedback.

Read More

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.