For the university students that enjoy travelling it is becomes increasingly difficult to combine good grades, enough of quality sleep and satisfying social life. They often find themselves standing in front of a choice of sacrificing one or two of those. This sacrifice comes from the pressure that student find themselves under and leads to stress-related issues and illnesses.
The pressure to succeed creates a lot of mental pressures that have an impact on the physical well-being too. The students who decide to travel and study abroad complain about the stress related to health problems ranging from the interrupted sleep pattern and thus connected sleep issues, eating disorders, alcohol-abuse, depression and suicide attempts.
Moreover, the patterns that are apparent are that the regular physical exercise gets reduced dramatically substituted with sedentary behaviour. The more immersed in the educational system the students become, the less time they devote to exercise and trainings and are cook and eat the “quick fix” or “junk” food.
Some of the students do find time to socialise and enjoy themselves though. The first year students party and experiment the most, as they are new to the academia process and the content of the first year education tends to be somewhat easier that the rest of the studies. Some research suggests that the first year student travellers are most likely to let go of a healthy lifestyle and gain the most weight while abroad.
The counsellors in the counselling centres all over the world more frequently hear from the students that travel not only about the home-sickness, but also about the anxieties, stress and depression related to the long hours and high demands. The pressures to do well academically are higher than ever. The students have problems with “switching off” and feel guilty if not working all week long. Moreover, the students during the exam period often complain about the worsened skin problems or irregularities in the menstrual cycle.
Though some of the university students are able to blame their health issues on the heavy workload and isolation, not all of the people suffering from stress related problems seek help. Instead, the university students engage in abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol intake that unfortunately sometimes ends up in overdose and can be fatal.
Can any of those problems be prevented? Keeping a healthy lifestyle, even when living abroad, is a start. The results of the number of research done over the past 10 years shows that there is a clear correlation between the high academic achievement and healthy habits. Concretely, the students who stick to regular meal consumption, especially the regular breakfast consumption, are far more likely to do well academically.
To support the work-life balance, the healthy habits combined with the regular physical exercise, rather than striving for perfect academic results, in the long run seem to be a way of preventing the acute levels of stress and stress-related illnesses.