From Stress to More Stress: How Can We Help Our College Kids?

Dale Troy is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School. She was certified as a health coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). She currently has a health coach practice that focuses on college students. Dale has three daughters, two of whom graduated from college and one is a senior. Below are her thoughts on helping college students deal with stress:

Our high schoolers are pre-occupied with where they hope to go to college. Yes, even 9th graders know that the grades they get as freshmen will affect their GPA. By the time our children become juniors, college is the number one topic of conversation. Taking SATs, ACTs and Subject Tests causes profound stress. It’s amazing that our children are able to handle so much pressure at only 16 or 17 years of age. In senior year, the stress of college applications takes over, as well as road trips to visit college campuses.

Naturally, we are ecstatic and relieved when college acceptances finally arrive. But no one talks
about the big transition that lies ahead when our children go to college.
Helping our children get ready for college is a ritual that we enjoy. We spend time shopping for
the right dorm essentials, the right clothing and the right technology. We assume our children
will adjust to college life in short order, and get help from their peers and residential advisors if
necessary. But we don’t really understand how stressful the college transition is for many
children, and we don’t’ give them a road map to handle it.

Where does the stress come from? It surrounds them every minute of their college life,
starting freshmen year and going right through to graduation. First, it’s the stress of keeping up
with their classes and understanding what each professor requires. Second, it’s the stress of
dorm life and living with people they have no prior relationship with. Third, it’s the stress of
making lots of choices that we use to make for them including what to eat, when to exercise,
and what time to go to sleep. Fourth, it’s the stress of wanting to fit in and needing to develop
relationships quickly or end up feeling lonely. Fifth, it’s the stress of wanting to have a good
time in college, because that’s what we told them would happen.

Some children handle these stressors better than others, but all college students I’ve ever
spoken to tell me they are “stressed”. As a mother of two daughters who have graduated from
college, and a third who is now a senior, I believe we need a way to help our children handle
the stress they face in college. That’s why I created a program designed specifically for college
students that will help them manage their stress.

One freshman I worked with described how he felt, after working with me, this way:
“The program with Dale Troy was very helpful and applicable in my everyday life as a college
student. Her objectives provided consistency in my first semester of college, which is exactly
what I was missing. Being able to control certain aspects of my life was shown to make me a
better student…I would highly recommend this program to anyone trying to better themselves
personally, emotionally and physically.”

To learn more about how to help your college student reduce stress, you can schedule a free
call on my calendar: Additionally, I can be reached by email at