Youth stressed over cash and careers
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012 4:44PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, November 29, 2012 6:45PM MST
A new Ipsos Reid survey shows 90 percent of young adults are stressed out about money and career.
Jessalyn McPhail is a third year nursing student as MRU and is worried about student loans, mid-terms and whether her education will really pay off.
“I’m really thinking is there actually going to be a job for me,” said McPhail.
McPhail says she believes that there are a lot of factors that play into that stress.
“More than ever we are wanting material possessions and our idea and our visual example of success, costs a lot of money,” said McPhail. “We see what our parents have and we want that and the stress of wanting to achieve that is stressful.”
The survey also shows that young Canadians are more likely than older people to feel overworked and underemployed.
Janet Miller is a registered psychologist and associate professor at Mount Royal University and says stress can be good and bad.
“Good stress is the stress that motivates you to get off the sofa and into school, out to your job, out to volunteer, following though on commitments. Enough stress that you care about what you’re doing enough to show up and do well,” said Miller. “Bad stress is when it starts interfering in your performance, you get overwhelmed, you get worried, you start catastrophizing things. You start to be over thinking, overanalyzing, you get stuck maybe in worry instead of doing. When you can’t make a plan, you’re thinking gets foggy or twisted or when you’re not taking care of yourself.”
Miller says we tend to stop doing the good things that are most important when we’re stressed like exercise, sleeping, eating and socializing.
“The good things in life tend to be harder to engage in even though it’s what we need most of,” said Miller.
Miller says she sees a lot of youth who need help coping and managing stress but most are not afraid to ask for help.
“I think this is a generation that will reach out to access resources whether it’s online or in person, I think there’s less stigma around mental health issues in general and we’re doing a lot of work to take the stigma out of mental illness,” said Miller.
Miller says it is important to take the crises out of stress and try to see it as an opportunity.
“So there are some students who will go into mid-terms and say this is a threat, oh my gosh if I don’t get this I won’t get on to my degree and there is a lot of pressure to get great marks, that’s true. But if instead a student goes in and says its an opportunity, here’s a chance for me to try something and show what I know and show off and really celebrate what I’ve learned this semester and I’ve prepared and I’ve tested myself and I’m more likely to see this as an opportunity, as a chance to do something good and be in the good stress zone rather than to be stressed out,” said Miller.
Most colleges and universities have resources for students who are experiencing difficulties coping with stress.
CTV Calgary and the United Way of Calgary and Area have launched an initiative to help youth deal with stress and anxiety.
Visit the Real YOUth page for more information and resources.