College students struggle with anxiety as in-person classes resume

Coronavirus

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Students at SUNY Albany are getting into the groove of a new school year. With a vaccine mandate and mask requirements, classes are now in-person. That’s something giving freshman a little more than just the first day jitters. 

“It’s a little overwhelming because it’s a big transition from high school to college,” said freshman Jordan Heath.

After more than a year of virtual learning as high school seniors, in-person learning at the college level for some freshmen is a tougher transition.

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“It’s been a little bit of an adjustment and kind of unexpected based off of everything that happened last year,” said freshman Taylor Dykeman.

Psychologist Rudy Nydegger encourages students to do as many activities outside the classroom to help get rid of some of those nerves.  

“Certainly, it’s not unexpected that as people get back into larger groups and so forth that they find it a little overwhelming,” Nydegger said.

Nydegger warned worried parents to not press their children with their own concerns.

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“Keep it short, keep it sweet, keep it supportive,” Nydegger said.  

Ultimately, the psychologist said the best way to deal with anxiety is to confront it head on. If it becomes too difficult, that’s when it may be time to see a school counselor.  

“Don’t use the time to avoid the situation by playing on your phone or doing Facebook or whatever. Pay attention to what’s going on. It starts getting easier,” Nydegger said.

The SUNY system is already targeting mental health concerns. It’s creating permanent mental health and wellness position and increasing the number of mental health services professionals at its schools among other expansions.

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