Our young adults are well on their way to becoming the most educated population in the world. A majority of them will spend a chunk of their 20′s in either college or university, hoping to leave with a degree or diploma that will get them job. The Globe and Mail has been running a great series on some of the innovations happening at universities and the need for changes. (There may be some pertinent lessons in there for the church as well.) Although it’s not the focus of the series, one thing worth noting is that there’s been an increasing incidence of anxiety and depression among university students. We need to worry about this. What’s causing it? Some students arrive at university dealing with high expectations from parents, or having breezed though high school – university faculty report a phenonemon called “grade shock”
when their first marks comes in.
Students today are also dealing with the financial pressures of rising tuitions and a difficult job market. The church needs to be aware of these pressures, and help give students the ability to cope. That can mean character education that stresses the valuable lessons that can be learned in moments of failure, and the skills to return from it. It may mean organizing recent graduates to speak to those about to set off for university. But ultimately, it means offering support, asking questions, and really listening so that troubled students in our midst get the help they need, and know where to access it.