Shaun Lucas

A survey conducted by The Snapper, created by Editor-in-Chief Shaun Lucas and staff writer Michael Smith, displays that while stress is higher than the Fall 2021 semester, many students still feel a sense of belonging on campus.

Released on Nov. 6, the survey received 48 unique responses from college students, 23 of them from Millersville University and the rest from institutions including Emmanuel College, Kutztown University, West Chester University and the University of Houston.

November is often a stressful time for many, particularly students as they enter the final month of the fall semester each year. While a majority of final projects and exams take place the first weeks of December, many classes have semester-long projects that require November to finalize. In fact, some come to expect the high work demand.

“I know to expect an uptick in homework and the time commitments required to get it done,” Millersville University junior Jake Long said.

However, Fall 2022 is notable, as 3.75 percent of respondents feel that this fall semester is more stressful than past fall semester. In addition, upon students ranking their stress levels entering November from a 1-10 range, the average stress level is 7.12.

“Most of my finals are projects and they’re all coming up so quickly,” Logan Linder of the University of Houston said. “I feel like there’s not much time to breathe. So much is happening but I have so little time.”

One area where students seem more under control is in time management. When asked to rank how each respondent feels regarding their time management in balancing assignments, the average ranking on a 1-10 scale was 4.98, with the most common individual ranking being 4.

“If you do not keep up with the work that is given, everything starts to pile up,” Millersville freshman Kate Pelagatti said.

Some of the more common stressors included course load, grades, work, financial concerns, lack of time, burnout, and general mentality issues. Multiple students mentioned working multiple jobs on top of schooling, one student having five jobs.

Fortunately, beyond responsibilities, a majority of students find themselves belonging on campus. Per the survey, 68.89 percent of respondents feel as if they have a place on campus, mentioning positive factors such as having friends and enjoying club activities. Respondents who do not feel they belong on campus commonly listed social life issues contributing to the feeling. 

“As a transfer student, I feel as though there is no spot for me, except with freshmen who I don’t connect with,” one Millersville student said.

For students struggling with mental health troubles, Millersville students should contact Millersville University’s Counseling Center at 717-871-7821. Spiritual guidance is available to all students through Campus Ministries.

“I think it is a really important balance between family, friends and school work. If I get too absorbed in my school work I get really sad and depressed,” a Northwestern Connecticut Community College student said. “So if you mix it all together in a way that works for you, then it’s way better.”