We don't need to be an ivy league university town to be stressed out and make the list (not that it's something to be proud of or anything). 

Between exams, heavy course loads, juggling part-time jobs, and other responsibilities, being a college student is not a walk in the park. Especially, with some schools slashing acceptance rates in the wake of the pandemic, students feel the pressure to perform even more. 

Preply did a study to find out exactly which college towns were the most and least stressed by scraping tweets in 150 geolocations and then using a tool to measure stress.

The study found that Laramie ranked 18th as the town with stress-related tweets, coming in at 25.3%. While financial stress is common among students, Laramie's cost of living came in at 7% below the national average, compared to areas like Berkeley, California at 82% above it.

Our neighbor, UC Boulder, down in Colorado ranked 14 as the most stressed college town.

The top three most stressed college towns and their universities are, Berkeley, California, with UC Berkeley coming in first, followed by Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Harvard University, MIT, and Lesley University, and third, Iowa City, Iowa, with the University of Iowa.

Most of the more relaxed college towns are located in the Midwest (except us, I guess?). Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN is the number one least stressed college town.

Stress in college is not a new phenomenon. In fact, academic stress is the leading cause of stress in college students, and that’s been around for as long as colleges have been. The problem, however, is that stress levels among college students seem to be getting worse. Researchers suspect the rise is linked to financial stress and time spent on digital devices.

In the 2021 National College Health Assessment, the American College Health Association found that:

  • Nearly 75% of college students expressed moderate to serious psychological distress.
  • Nearly 80% reported moderate to high-stress levels in the past 30 days.
  • The top challenges students faced were academics (52%) and finances (41%).
  • Unfortunately, stress among college students is closely associated with suicide, with more than 1 in 4 college students identified as being at risk.

While some stress in college is normal and to be expected, it’s clear that, for many students, the stress level is unmanageable, and they would benefit from better support.

To read the full study, click HERE.

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