College is a time of transition and change. Young people have to move their homes, start a new social group, meet new people, and, of course, study and define themselves as adults. Of course, all those changes can become a challenging experience for many students.
In addition to the academic demands of college and new social situations, students also face financial pressures, homesickness, time pressure, and uncertainty about their future. These stressors can take a toll on a student’s mental health, leading to a variety of mental health challenges. So let’s see what those challenges are and how to manage them in order to raise higher mental health awareness.
Common Mental Health Disorders:
First, see the most common mental health challenges students face in college.
Anxiety is widely spread among most college students. Symptoms of anxiety include excessive worry, fear, rapid heartbeat, uneasiness, and nervousness. Such symptoms may often appear at random times and affect students’ school performance and ability to socialize, think, or make decisions. Yet, anxiety is often provoked by additional stressors like lack of sleep, worries about the future, extreme academic pressure, and high demands on oneself.
Most students consider stress a normal part of the college experience. However, experiencing stress on a daily basis is far from healthy. Stress can cause a range of physical and emotional symptoms, including headaches, insomnia, fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Of course, academic pressure is the main factor of excessive stress in young people’s lives. The lack of social support, inability to express and analyze strong negative emotions, and financial concerns also play a big factor in living under stress.
Unfortunately, depression is one of the most common mental health challenges among college students. Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness, as well as a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. Depression can be genetic or caused by external factors, such as academic stress, social isolation, and financial concerns. Depression can lead to serious consequences, from loss of interest in studies and social life to low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
Eating disorders can occur due to various factors, such as stress, low self-esteem, family history, unhealthy eating habits, etc. Commonly, such disorders result in developing anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Such disorders often come as the result of other untreated mental health conditions and can cause serious harm to one’s body and health.
Unfortunately, some young people seek comfort and escape from various substances like alcohol or drugs. These substances replace their need to develop healthy coping mechanisms. Yet, they always lead to the escalation of all other mental health disorders. Not to mention that substance abuse is a serious health problem on its own.
Many of the aforementioned disorders can also cause serious sleep disturbances. Such a condition includes states like insomnia, sleep sensitivity, nightmares, sleep talking, and other sleep disorders. The lack of good night’s sleep affects students’ academic performance, ability to concentrate or perceive new information, as well as their mental health conditions and overall well-being.
Mental Health Awareness:
Given the seriousness and wide range of mental health effects on students’ lives, it is important to spread mental health awareness. Here are some coping techniques and preventative practices to manage mental health challenges as a student.
Eating a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and getting enough sleep are all important for maintaining good mental health. Students should not forget about activities that bring them joy and bring more fun to their lives, such as hobbies or creative projects. Also, students should build greater self-awareness to recognize when they start feeling stressed or anxious. A self-care day routine can also help them rest and minimize school stress.
Building a support network
Socializing is an essential part of building strong mental health. College students should find time to socialize, meet with friends, call their families, and join clubs, study groups, or other organizations. Not being alone most of the time will help avoid many mental health challenges. Overall, it is essential to build a sense of community and to belong to fight stress and depression.
Students should take breaks from studying and other duties to recharge and reduce stress. First, each study session should have frequent breaks to rest and change focus. Second, daily breaks should also include taking a walk, meditating, or engaging in other relaxing and fun activities. Also, sometimes it is better to buy nursing paper and take a long break to study instead of writing. Such a decision will be more beneficial for students’ mental health.
Seeking professional help
College students should feel empowered to seek professional healthcare help whenever needed. Fortunately, students often have access to counseling and mental health services through their university’s health center. Such places can provide the support and guidance students need to prevent serious mental health conditions and recover from existing symptoms. Students can also order research papers at nursingessaywriting to learn more about possible professional medical assistance.
College students face many challenges that affect their mental health. Luckily, there are many resources available to support students in maintaining good mental health and well-being. By prioritizing their mental health, students can also improve the quality of their lives and perform better in school. However, it takes work and self-awareness to start a mental health journey.