Facing criminal charges can be a life-altering experience, especially for college students just starting to build their lives. The psychological impact of criminal charges can significantly affect a person’s mental health, education, career and social status.
Here’s what you should know about how criminal charges can impact college students and a few tips on coping with the stress.
Fear and anxiety
Fear and anxiety are among the most common psychological impacts of criminal charges. College students facing criminal charges may worry about the potential consequences of their actions, such as being kicked out of school, losing scholarships, or even going to jail. This fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and may impact their ability to function on a day-to-day basis.
Criminal charges can also have a significant impact on academic performance. College students may struggle to focus on their studies, worry about the future, and may miss classes or assignments due to court dates or meetings with attorneys. This can lead to poor grades and may even result in failing classes or dropping out of school.
Criminal charges may also impact a student’s future career opportunities. Employers often conduct background checks, and a criminal record may make it difficult to find a job. Additionally, some careers, such as healthcare, law enforcement or education, may be off-limits to individuals with a criminal record.
Criminal charges may also impact a student’s social status. They may worry about how their friends and family perceive them and fear being stigmatized or ostracized. This can lead to social isolation, feelings of shame and depression.
Worrying about consequences
While awaiting trial, college students may worry about the potential consequences of their actions. They may feel guilty or ashamed and worry about letting down their family or disappointing their friends. This can lead to a cycle of negative thoughts and emotions, making it difficult to focus on anything else.
Coping with the psychological impact of criminal charges
If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, seeking support and guidance is essential. Here are some tips for coping with the psychological impact of criminal charges:
- Seek professional help: Consider talking to a mental health professional who can help you manage anxiety and stress related to criminal charges.
- Lean on supportive friends and family: Friends and family can provide emotional support during this difficult time. They can offer a listening ear, practical help and a sense of normalcy.
- Stay focused on school: While it may be tempting to let academics slip, staying focused on schoolwork is important. This can provide a sense of normalcy and help maintain a sense of routine.
- Stay informed about your case: Talk to your attorney and stay informed about your case. Knowing what to expect can help ease anxiety and uncertainty.
- Practice self-care: Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Eat well, get enough sleep and engage in activities that you enjoy.
Facing criminal charges can be a difficult and stressful experience for college students. The psychological impact can significantly affect academic performance, career opportunities and social status. However, seeking support from friends, family, and mental health professionals, staying focused on school and practicing self-care can help you cope with the stress and uncertainty of criminal charges.