College is an educational milestone that can be exciting and challenging incredibly for freshman students. Creating a new start may also entail adjusting to the new environment, building positive interactions with peers and professors, keeping up with academic demands, and balancing personal and social life. However, these normal developmental experiences during college may not be easy for all. Literature shows that there was an increase in mental health concerns among college students. Taking this into consideration, this study focuses on identifying the sources of anxiety among freshman College of Science (COS) students and their coping skills to manage life difficulties. A total of 210 participants were enrolled in a non-academic course that was designed to increase mental health literacy and career development among freshman students at a private university in the Philippines. Using the Adolescent Personality Questionnaire (APQ) administered online, data were collected and analyzed through quantitative descriptive design. Results revealed that more than half or 58% received high average to high scores in anxiety. More so, their sources of anxiety were categorized into personal discomfort (discouragement, worry, and poor body image), getting in trouble (anger or aggression, authority problems, and alcohol or drugs), and the context of difficulties (problems at home and school). On a lighter note, 66% of the participants reported having average to a superior level of coping skills. They tend to see themselves as capable and equipped in managing their concerns. In conclusion, the significance of an extensive mental health program at the university is discussed.
Rosemarie Tayoto, De La Salle University, Philippines