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Maria's presentations are so relevant to today's college women student leaders and they need to hear from her! I am confident that my students walked away with a greater understanding of how to balance their crazy lives!

–Rosalyn Kempf, Director, Women's Leadership Program, Mount St. Mary's College

I had a countless amount of students tell me after the presentation that " it felt like Maria was speaking directly to me; how does she know all that stuff??".
–Megghan Connolly, Class of 2010, Event Co-Organizer, SUNY Fredonia


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The Facts & Statistics
College Women Student Leadership Barriers

Why College Women Students Need Campus Calm:

Campus Calm Vision Ambitious female college students, our next generation of women leaders, are experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, overwhelm, perfectionism, eating disorders and sleep difficulties. These are all barriers to women's health and confidence building, which become barriers to women's leadership. Confident, healthy young women lead with resilience!

From Maria Pascucci, President of Campus Calm: "Women leaders feel internal and external pressure to not only 'do it all,' but to do it all 'perfectly.' The undo pressure we place on ourselves to be perfect leads far too many of our female college students to experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, overwhelm, poor self-esteem and chronic stress."

Overwhelm & Perfectionism = Barriers to College Women's Leadership:

Fact: 91 percent of female college students reported feeling overwhelmed by all they had to do in the previous 12 months (15 percentage points higher than college men).
–Statistics courtesy of the American College Health Association's Spring 2018 National College Health Assessment

Fact: According to a recent study, "Student Leaders and Leadership at Dartmouth College" female student leaders who were surveyed have higher grade point averages (GPAs) than males by 0.23 points, yet consider themselves to be less intelligent than males in self-ratings. Moreover, female student leaders rate themselves as being even less ambitious than male student leaders by 0.7 points on a five-point scale and yet members of the organizations they lead rate female and male leaders as almost equally ambitious.

What's going on? Campus Calm believes that young women often feel like they have to work much harder than boys to feel "good enough," which contributes to higher levels of burnout and lower self-confidence. One teenage girl sums it up best: "A lot of girls doubt … just to be sure, we do a little extra."
–Quotation from "Smart Girls, Hard-Working Girls But Not Yet Self-Assured Girls: The Limits of Gender Equity Politics"

Fact: 74% of young women between the ages of 13 and 21 say they feel the pressure to be perfect, according to a Seventeen/Yahoo survey.

Consider this letter from a female college student:
Despite a 3.99 GPA, I am miserable and feel completely overwhelmed by the demands that I continue to put on myself. Campus Calm is the only site I have seen that conveys realistic expectations that actually consider and acknowledge the importance of a young women's health and personal life. I wish that more professors and professionals fully understood the increasing demands and problems of perfectionism among young women of this generation, and what a miserable prison it can be.

–Taryn, 20-year-old college woman living in Massachusetts

*We also recommend that you refer to the article "Never Perfect Enough: The private struggles of college women" by Juliette Landphair, dean of the University of Richmond's Westhampton College.

College Stress & Mental Health Challenges Are Barriers to Leadership for Male and Female Students:

Campus Calm VisionFact: Suicide is the leading cause of death in college students, second only to accidents.

Fact: Half of all college students have had suicidal thoughts.
USA Today

Fact: Stress, anxiety, sleep difficulties and depression are the top four life issues that American college students say affects their studies.
–Statistics courtesy of the American College Health Association's Spring 2018 National College Health Assessment

Fact: According to statistics from an mtvU AP 2009 Economy, College Stress and Mental Health Poll of more than 2,200 college students across 40 colleges and universities:

  • 85 percent of students reported feeling stressed on a daily basis.
  • Academic concerns like school work and grades, with 77 percent and 74 percent respectively, maintain their positions as the top drivers of student stress, even over financial woes in today’s economy.
  • Six out of 10 students report having felt so stressed they couldn’t get their work done on one or more occasions.
  • Since starting college, over 70 percent of students have not considered talking to a counselor to help them deal with stress or other emotional issues.

Fact: 56 percent of college women reported feeling things were hopeless at some point in the previous 12 months (11 percentage points higher than college men).

Fact: 69 percent of female college students reported feeling overwhelming anxiety (20 percentage points higher than college men).

Fact: 88 percent of college women reported feeling exhausted, though not from physical activity (13 percentage points higher than college men).

Fact: 53 percent of female college students rated academics as "traumatic or very difficult to handle" (12 percentage points higher than male college students).
–Statistics courtesy of the American College Health Association's Spring 2018 National College Health Assessment

Sleep Deprivation is a Barrier to Health = A Barrier to Women's Leadership

Fact: Prescriptions for sleeping medications nearly tripled among college age users from 1998 to 2006.
New York Times "Sleeping Pills Rising in Popularity Among Young Adults"

Fact: 35 percent of college women and 28 percent of college men rated sleep difficulties as "traumatic or very difficult to handle" within the last 12 months.
American College Health Association's Spring 2018 National College Health Assessment

Perfectionism Linked to Body Image Problems and Eating Disorders = Barrier to Health = Barrier to Women's Leadership

Fact: 35 percent of college women rated personal appearance as "traumatic or very difficult to handle" within the last 12 months (14 percentage points higher than college men).
ACHA Spring 2018 National College Health Assessment

Fact: Students who struggle with perfectionism tendencies may be at an increased risk for eating disorders. The study, published in June 2010 in The American Journal of Psychiatry, is the largest study to date to examine the link between perfectionism and bulimia. The researchers found that those participants who had a strong negative reaction to mistakes and interpreted the mistakes as failures were more likely to have symptoms of bulimia or anorexia.

While Female High School Students' Drive to Achieve and Academic Abilities Are Up, They Are Increasingly Entering College With Low Levels of Emotional Health = Barriers to Women's Leadership:

Fact: First-year college students' self-ratings of their emotional health dropped to record low levels in 2010.

Fact: Female students were far less likely to report high levels of emotional health than male students (45.9 percent versus 59.1 percent), a 13.2 percentage-point difference.

Fact: Women were also more than twice as likely as men to feel frequently "overwhelmed by all I had to do" as high-school seniors, with 18 percent of the men saying they had been frequently overwhelmed, compared with 39 percent of the women.

Fact: While students' perceived emotional health took a downturn, their drive to achieve and their academic abilities are trending upward. More students than ever before (71.2 percent) rated their academic abilities as "above average" or in the "highest 10 percent," and 75.8 percent rate their drive to achieve in the same terms.
–Statistics taken from The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010 involving more than 200,000 incoming full-time students at four-year colleges

Q: Have you come across statistics or an interesting study regarding barriers to leadership that female college students face? We'd be grateful to have you share it with us so we can share it with our network. Thank you!

Maria Pascucci, Founder of Campus Calm®, is uniquely positioned to connect with your female college student leaders and empower them to overcome these alarming barriers to leadership because she speaks from the power of personal experience:

From Maria: In 2001, I graduated summa cum laude from college with a 3.92 GPA – the first woman in my family to earn a 4-year degree. I completed a double major in English and history, a minor in writing, a concentration in women's studies while working two part-time jobs on the side. My resume was perfect but I was a wreck! I had a panic attack in the bathroom during a final exam. I graduated with stress and anxiety induced health problems. I survived.

As a recovering college perfectionist turned certified professional life coach, author, speaker, leader and change-maker, I empower the next generation of rising women leaders to let go of the pressure to be perfect so they can lead with confidence, good health and resilience.

Maria Pascucci
Maria keynoting the University of California, Merced, 2nd annual Women's Empowerment Conference.

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