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Students should take their mental wellness seriously

One of the biggest struggles faced by college students is mental health. It’s something almost every one of us faces. There are many common sources of anxiety in the college setting, such as deadlines, which even the most diligent students struggle with at times, and the imminent job search is another stress factor. Students may also face existing mental health issues that are compounded by a college environment. Despite this being such a universal feeling, it can be incredibly isolating. It’s easy to feel like your mental health isn’t a priority compared to others who may have “more serious” struggles. Impostor syndrome is a huge barrier that prevents students from seeking help. It’s very important to know that while some do, in fact, struggle with more severe symptoms, every struggle is a valid one. There’s no scale for how important your struggles are, and there are resources on campus that you should employ if you need them. 

The counseling center is a free resource for students that should be utilized. People are intimidated by the idea of getting “counseling,” as it can be scary and still stigmatized in some regards. They’re a resource for college students who need help handling their stress. The process of scheduling an initial consultation may feel daunting, but when counseling can be the difference between a good and bad semester, it’s worth the attempt.

Feeling unworthy to receive mental health support is a prominent barrier that prevents students from getting help. People think that they don’t deserve support on a level as official as counseling, so they’re not likely to seek it out. Even still, there are resources available that don’t require an appointment. A prominent example is the Mind Spa in the Union. The Mind Spa is a low-stress environment where students can relax and just take a break if they need. They host programs aimed at promoting mindfulness and coping with stress, but you’re also free to check out the space during their open hours, where they have massage chairs and games. If you’re feeling particularly stressed or wound up but not on the level where you’d consider the counseling center, the mind spa is a perfect resource. A change in environment to a less stressful and over-stimulating one can be very important. 

Mental health awareness has come a long way, but the stigma that prevents people from seeking help still exists. The best thing that we as college students can do is keep an eye on both ourselves and others around us. Sometimes, an opportunity to express how you’re doing can make someone’s day. It’s easy to forget that we’re in a community of people with the same struggles, but in times of darkness, it’s important to find people who can help you out of it. You are not uniquely alone in your experiences, and there will always be a person there to listen to you, whether it be a person on your floor you don’t often talk to or a licensed counselor. If you aren’t doing well, or you think someone around you is not doing well, just check-in. You and the people around you will appreciate it.

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