College students’ mental health is on the decline

This semester seems to be a big hurdle for most.

After adjusting in the fall, wearing masks, social-distancing, cleaning workspaces and getting tested are all things we added to ensure the safety of others.

We have dealt with the stress of keeping up in classes, online, hybrid or in–person.

We are learning to communicate in different ways, in-person and virtually. I’ve found that many students feel

the workload has added up since school began during the pandemic.

For many, it has been a learning curve on top of our studies.

Before spring break, I watched people become upset, angry, frustrated with themselves and others.

Professors, staff and students are all being affected.

The overall environment feels negative.

I have missed classes and fallen behind on homework.

We are about five weeks out until finals, and I still have outstanding missing assignments.

My classmates have shared similar challenges.

I have found in almost every class, at least one student is not in attendance.

I share this because I am concerned for the wellbeing of our university.

I began coping in ways that hindered my learning experience.

Sleeping throughout the day instead of attending class.

Not eating regular meals and isolating myself from everyone.

To add to the stress of work and class, many personal issues arose which I was not prepared for.

It was affecting me in so many ways that I couldn’t get my thoughts straight. Eventually, I had the courage to reach out for help.

I realized this semester I need to take care of myself.

I can try my best, even if it is not one-hundred percent.

Here is what I learned and has gotten me to this point in the semester: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Talk to someone, anyone.

A friend, a family member, a professor or someone you trust.

They will most likely listen and offer some sort of help.

I spoke with all my professors.

Each one had something different to share.

They all helped me to find a positive and healthy way to cope and get reorganized.

It is okay to seek counseling.

I used to think I was fine enough not to go see a counselor.

I finally had my first session, and it has been helpful.

I feel safe and can talk about anything when I am comfortable to do so.

Find a healthy outlet.

I found music, drawing and photography are great ways to distract myself from my negative thoughts and anxiety.

It was a better way to spend my time rather than sleeping all day.

Sleeping when you are stressed is not a crime.

Sleeping is natural and happens when you are stressed.

Sometimes, you need to sleep to reset and feel refreshed.

When learning in a pandemic, it may take more time for you to learn than normal.

Realize, this pandemic is not normal, nor will life be what it was before.

We will need patience, compassion for others and ourselves.

Take time to care for yourself.

You must take time to relax. If you are overworked, tired and stressed, you won’t perform as well.

Take a shower or watch a movie.

This is an important part for your own overall health.

Take all of this into account.

Try it, apply it and see what happens. It never hurts to try when you are looking out for your own wellbeing.

If you need resources, remember the SVSU Counseling Center is available to all.

Make a call and have a consultation.

You can follow Active Minds SVSU on either Instagram or Facebook for more information, tips and resources.

Lastly, communicate with your professors, employers and others.

Realize we are all struggling in different ways.

Remember, when you feel frustrated or upset at someone, they are also human.

They’re learning to live in a pandemic just like you.

Audrey Bergey

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