- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 26 October 2016
- Written by DANIELLE ROMANOWSKI | STAFF WRITER
Bright-eyed and smiling young adults decked out in college apparel walking off to class is a picturesque scene of college to many high-school seniors and hopeful parents when thinking about future collegiate years. On the surface, higher education looks as fun and easy as sitting in lecture halls, dining in the student center and hanging out in cinderblock dorms.
However, there’s more to the story than what tour guides and college pamphlets will let you in on. Amongst all the club meetings, Greek events and sports games, students are met with an underlying sense of stress, anxiety and depression, as self-care isn’t at the top of everyone’s daily to-do lists.
While being in college gives young adults the opportunity to meet new people and discover life passions, it can also be a vulnerable and unstable period. Students find themselves overwhelmed with stress as the pressure to study, write papers, and accomplish numerous daily tasks becomes exhausting.
College students are more involved than ever; being a full-time student, working part time and being involved in clubs on campus creates insane amounts of stress and pressure, and for many it is difficult to find the right balance.
With heavy involvement and busy workloads, many college students are neglecting necessary self-care precautions to maintain their mental health. As mental health issues and concerns are on the rise for college campuses, it is important for students to put self-care on their priority list and take action to ensure they aren’t letting their busy schedules consume their lives.
Senior communication student Aditi Vast,commented, “When I get too stressed, I hang out with my housemates, listen to music and watch ‘Criminal Minds’ to make me feel like my problems aren’t that bad.”
Many students like Vast find comfort from daunting work by taking a break to ease their minds. Often times, college students become so overwhelmed with their workload, they forget how important it is to step back and give themselves a mental break.
There are many ways to maintain your mental health and to ensure stress isn’t taking over. According to online university resources and mental health professionals, some tips to manage stress and mental health are: develop a support network, be active, eat well, get enough sleep and seek professional help.
By developing a support network of friends and family, those who become overwhelmed and stressed will be able to find support from loved ones and will eliminate any feelings of isolation. Junior business student Tianna Fougeray said, “When it comes to my schoolwork, my roommate and I will help each other out, and we’ll motivate each other and get our work done. I think having someone to motivate and encourage you really helps when you’re stressed.”
Being active is another way many combat their stress and anxiety. Hitting the gym once a week is a great way to channel your emotions, and exercise is actually suggested to ward off depression. For a less intense workout, going on walks can help clear your mind and give you time to breathe.
As well as being active, it’s just as important to get full nights’ sleep. Fougeray continued, “It's hard sometimes balancing academics, having a social life, going to class and being involved while trying to get a full nights sleep, but I try my best to make sure I’m getting enough rest every night.”
In college, that may seem impossible do considering the endless amounts of course work and deadlines students are faced with, however being well-rested is vital to mental health and being sleep-deprived will only intensify stress and anxiety.
Jennifer Shamrock, a lecturer of communication, offered advice for students who are feeling overwhelmed: “It’s okay to acknowledge when you are stressed or having anxiety, especially during college years. I always recommend the different resources on campus so professionals with expertise can help them balance the demands of their academic, social and personal worlds.”
There are many resources available to college students who are stressed, feeling anxious or struggling with personal issues at Monmouth. Counseling and Psychological Services is a resource that everyone should take advantage of because having an outlet for stress, especially a professional one, can sometimes make all the difference.
While there isn’t a one size fits all approach to combatting stress and anxiety, taking necessary steps to ensure you’re valuing your mental health will help positively impact your lifestyle.
IMAGE TAKEN from Monmouth University's Facebook page