SUNY Albany students struggle with anxiety as in-person classes resume

New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Students at SUNY Albany are getting into the groove of a new school year. With a vaccine mandate and mask requirements, classes are now in-person. That’s giving freshmen a little more than just the first day jitters. 

“It’s a little overwhelming because it’s a big transition from high school to college,” said freshman Jordan Heath.

After more than a year of virtual learning as high school seniors, transitioning to a college classroom has been tough for some freshmen.

“It’s been a little bit of an adjustment and kind of unexpected based off of everything that happened last year,” said freshman Taylor Dykeman.

Psychologist Rudy Nydegger encourages students to do as many activities outside the classroom to help reduce the stress.

“Certainly, it’s not unexpected that as people get back into larger groups and so forth that they find it a little overwhelming,” Nydegger said.

Nydegger warned worried parents to not press their children with their own concerns. “Keep it short, keep it sweet, keep it supportive,” he said.  

Ultimately, Nydegger said, the best way to deal with anxiety is to confront it. If it becomes too difficult, it may be time to see a school counselor.  

“Don’t use the time to avoid the situation by playing on your phone or doing Facebook or whatever. Pay attention to what’s going on. It starts getting easier,” Nydegger said.

The SUNY system is already targeting students’ mental health concerns. It’s creating permanent mental health and wellness position and increasing the number of mental health services professionals at its schools among other expansions.

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