Feeling stressed? You aren’t the only one, according to an annual survey of freshman college students released by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.

First-year students’ mental health has reached a new low since the survey was first conducted in 1985, with only 52% of freshmen in 2010 reporting “above average” emotional health, the survey found.

While students’ self-assessments of “below average” emotional health rose, so did their ratings of their ambitions and academic strengths. About 75% of students rated themselves as above average, the study found, leading researchers to ask whether students are placing too much pressure on themselves to succeed.

The economy also may be weighing on students’ minds, with freshmen reporting higher levels of paternal unemployment than in the past. Students may be worried about taking out loans to pay for tuition or not being able to find employment after graduation, researchers involved in the survey said.

The survey also found that women were twice as stressed as men, and that more students (29%) report already being overwhelmed by senior year of high school. Over 200,000 students entering four-year colleges were polled.

Prospective class of 2015, do not despair! You can always defer for a year until you’ll have a fall break.

[via New York Times]