In 2013, anxiety and depression were surveyed as the top mental illnesses on college campuses, according to the American Psychological Association. 41.6 percent of students surveyed showed signs of severe anxiety and 36.4 percent showed symptoms of depression. Psychologists see numbers growing in cases of reported mental health issues and still continue to do work to understand what exactly the cause is. But, the answer might be simpler than it is actually perceived.
Adulthood is something that many of us have high expectations for. When we are young, we hear about the independence we have as adults. No more living under our parents’ roof and making up our own rules.
It sounds awesome to an adolescent who just wants to grow up, but the reality is student loans, tuition and high expectations put on us by society start to pile up. We are expected to live an adult life when we graduate from high school, when there we had to raise our hand to go to the restroom.
It adds up. All of the paperwork, the loans or money and the demand for new workers with exceptional talents weigh more than a dreaming adolescent can bare. We feel so overwhelmed at the idea of college that we want to spend all day in bed and shut out the world. Five assignments, two papers and that one exam that could make or break your academic experience. We spend all day in class, and have four to five hours of homework and must retain a social life, work with organizations and maintain wonderful physical health. No wonder students may feel like they are alone and can’t get help.
With all the activities going on in a person’s life, it gets hard to balance everything on one plate. The biggest step to helping put everything in perspective in your life is self-acceptance. Once you realize that you are good enough and smart enough, all of your problems that look like mountains will not be as big anymore. Tell yourself you are able to do whatever you want to do and nothing will be impossible. Understand the purpose for writing those papers and doing those assignments are to help you become better. The goal is not perfection, it is using every part of you to the best of your ability.
So, if you are struggling right now with too much on your plate and not a lot of time, take a breath. Step away from the work for a little while and ask yourself what you want to do to make yourself the best you can be.
Figure out your goals and where you want to be and do everything possible to get there.
Clear your mind of bad thoughts and make a list of all of the things you can do. You are able to do whatever you set your mind to and you can make the most of your full schedule.
Just remember you are not alone. If you feel like you are, talk to a friend about everything on your mind. We don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives and talking about how you feel no matter how hard it is makes you realize that everyone is in the same boat as you.
We all can feel like we are sinking and knowing that other people are struggling just as much as you are will make the waves around you seem not as big. It’s okay to not be okay. The struggles we face are just a part of life.
If you feel like you need additional help, contact the University Counseling Center at 704 687 0311 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the survey mentioned above go to http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/06/college-students.aspx .