Dear College Students, It’s Okay to Seek Help

college students seek help

Dear fellow college students,

Now is about the time when you’re all settled in your college courses. You are studying for exams and you’ve spent numerous hours completing assignments and doing homework. Ironically, as the days gradually grow shorter, our own days feel much longer. The stress of college, from our current social lives, to our grades, and to our looming futures, sometimes feels unbearable. Managing ourselves to be productive and successful individuals can strain us mentally and physically. As the semester goes forward, often times stress piles up and we feel exhausted and drained. Come finals, many people, myself included, have suffered immensely.  This takes an extensive toll on anyone’s well-being. I’m here to tell you that you are never alone!

We’re primed and taught to persevere through tough times as students. All-nighters fueled by coffee and Redbull are considered the “norm”. We’re taught to put school before everything else, our own selves included. However, with this mindset of allowing ourselves to suffer for school’s sake, our mental health is at risk.

According to statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about 1 in 3 college students have suffered from depression and about 50% of college students rated their mental health as “poor”. These alarming statistics paint a terrifying portrait of the struggles that college students suffer every semester. College is supposed to be a positive experience to grow as intellectuals and as people, so why are we allowing ourselves to suffer?

Experiencing mental health deficits from overworking myself in school is something I have experienced and it has taught me one very important lesson: never think that you’re alone.

Many schools offer at least some form of counseling for their students at no extra cost. Although seeking help from a professional seems daunting, it can be really helpful. A trained counselor is likely well rehearsed in how to combat mental health issues brought on by school related stress. Therefore, through seeking help, a counselor can not only provide insight, but they can also validate your struggles.

Counseling isn’t the only way to seek help. Talking to a friend or a family member is really helpful as well. Having our feelings heard and having a support system reminds us that we’re not alone. Sometimes it’s difficult to talk about what we’re going through for many different reasons, like feeling like our struggles are trivial. Luckily, that’s what friends and family are for.

College is difficult, but it doesn’t have to take a toll on your well-being. On top of seeking help, make sure to take time to take care of yourself. Take breaks when you’re feeling overwhelmed, eat well and exercise regularly. Call your family and hang out with friends when you’re feeling sad. Whatever makes you happy- take time to do it. Yes, school is important, but your health and well being always should be top priority.

I cannot speak for everyone, but I can say that if you’re willing to seek help, it’s available in some form. Never brush your feelings off as insignificant and always, always keep hopeful!

Do you deal with these feelings brought on by the stress of school? How do you cope or seek help? Drop us a comment below. 

Julia Aldrich

About Julia Aldrich

Hi, I'm Julia Aldrich and I'm a student at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in psychology and creative writing. I enjoy travelling, sleeping, going to festivals, and of course writing- but I'm rather impartial to poetry. I'm also a veg so I'm obligated to let you know.

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