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College students face a number of risks to their physical and mental health. Some of these health risks can go unnoticed by both friends and family members, which makes them all the more dangerous. This article covers four of the top health risks for college students and offers advice on how to address them.

Mental Pressure

College students are under a considerable amount of mental pressure. This is due to excessive course loads, applying for scholarships, securing financial aid, and looming student loan debt. This is causing a staggering amount of mental turmoil to college students.

Support from parents, educators, counselors, and friends will help to alleviate this mental pressure. This will help them to not feel so isolated and alone.

Campus Sexual Assault

Female college students ages 18-24 are three times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women in other age ranges. According to RAINN, 11.2% of all college students will experience rape or sexual assault using force, incapacitation, or violence. This is a serious risk to the physical and mental health of our college students.

There are resources available online which offer tips on how to protect yourself while on campus or out at a party. College-age women should consider taking a self-defense class and investing in self-defense items.


Hypertension is considered the invisible killer. Although hypertension is a health condition often diagnosed in older people, it is becoming a common health issue among college students. Factors contributing to this trend are stress, diet, and genetics.

Students pursuing advanced degrees, such as with an online MBA degree program or PhD, are more at risk for hypertension due to the incredible amount of stress present in post-graduate atmospheres where the financial and academic stakes are higher. It is vital that college students, especially those pursuing an advanced degree, maintain their health throughout their higher education years.

Many colleges and universities have begun building recreation centers to promote physical exercise and proper nutrition. Exercise and athletic participation can help reduce the causes of hypertension by removing excess sodium in the body and relieving stress by increasing the production of mood-enhancing hormones.

Drunk Driving

A study performed in 2011 concluded that 25% of college students have driven drunk in just a one month period. It’s no wonder that 1,825 college students die every year from an alcohol-related incident, including car accidents.

There are ways to help reduce the instances of college-age drunk driving. These include arranging a designated driver, partying at a place within walking distance, or booking a cab ahead of time.

As a parent, you can arrange to pick them up if they are out and unable to drive home. If your child is underage, take a strong stance against their underage drinking and let them know it is not acceptable.

College students are the future of our country and of our economy. We must do everything in our power to protect them and nurture them so that they may achieve their full, brilliant potential.