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New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University

Sources of Stress for Students


  • Tests and grades: competition and performance anxiety
  • Difficulties with instructors and class environment/participation
  • Procrastination and poor time management
  • Lack of motivation
  • Inadequate study skills
  • Problems in major selection and course choices
  • Uncertain vocational goals and career direction
  • Concerns about employment skills and opportunities


  • Separation from family, homesickness
  • Parental pressures and expectations
  • Financial concerns
  • Interpersonal conflicts, including peer pressure and peer approval
  • Concerns about intimate relationships and sexuality
  • Perfectionistic standards, unrealistic expectations
  • Indefinite or conflicting goals and values
  • Personal identity and self-esteem issues
  • Loneliness, lack of support system
  • Difficulties in adjusting to change
  • Unsatisfactory living conditions
  • Concerns about personal appearance
  • Unbalanced life style (work, school, leisure)
  • Substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, food)

Crises/Unexpected Events

  • Death of significant other
  • Divorce or marital separation (incl. parental)
  • Breakup of relationship
  • Academic disappointment or failure
  • Unexpected pregnancy
  • Major injury or illness
  • Change in financial situation
  • Loss of job
  • Sexual assault
  • Physical, emotional isolation