Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Let’s Play With Some Data


Matt is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Matt and his fellow scholars here.

pikachuHello readers! I’m gearing up for a summer of reading, writing, and learning about college student mental health.

One of the best ways to learn about something, at least for me, is to just jump right into it and play with it and look at it. Lucky for me, much of the data I’m using for my project is available online to play with. Here’s some of the most interesting findings (in my opinion):

knowledge of services graph

This graph shows knowledge of services (i.e., counseling, hotlines, etc.) vs. where students are living.

Students living on-campus (OnOth, OnRes, Greek) have the highest knowledge of services, while students living off-campus (Off, Fam) have the lowest.Why is this? My guess is that students on-campus are highly exposed to information about resources, while students living off-campus don’t get this information as much.

anxiety v field of study graph

This graph shows anxiety vs. field of study. I’m only showing the largest and smallest four, as well as the average.

It shows that students in majors related to arts and design (e.g., architecture and music), as well as social work, have the highest anxiety. Students in business and engineering appear to have the lowest. Why is this? Perhaps the subjectivity of the coursework (e.g. grading a sculpture vs. mathematical calculations) causes greater worry for students in these majors.

While these are only two graphs, there’s a ton of other variables to look at, including stigma, help-seeking, substance use, numbers of years in school, gender, and race/ethnicity. I encourage you to go check out the data yourself!

These numbers represent real college students, and may help you come up with new ideas for programs. For example, do stress relief activities with arts students, or reach out to students living at home!