Mental Health Should Be A Priority In College

Mental Health Should Be A Priority In College

College can take a toll on your mental health.

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The college years are supposed to be the best years of our lives. The experience is new, it's exciting, it's an opportunity to be independent. You make all of these new friends, familiarize yourself with a new campus, and have so many fun things to do at any given moment. It's awesome.

For the most part.

I don't know about you, but in addition to having all of these wonderful experiences and opportunities in college so far, my mental health has also struggled quite a bit. The past few years have honestly been the hardest of my life. Aside from the curveballs life has thrown at me; family deaths, financial struggles, and just the everyday battles with depression and anxiety, college has really tacked on to those things.

It's added an immense amount of pressure and stress on me that I didn't have before. The classes are insanely difficult, even though I am a good student. Balancing a full time job and being a full time student is difficult. Handling more by myself has been an adjustment, since I'm away from my family. And don't even get me started on how much I miss my dogs!

I just want to note that this isn't a call for a pity party. I'm very blessed to be able to even go to school and I'm fortunate in so many aspects of my life. I'm just saying college and all that comes with it is very overwhelming and can be exhausting. And I know that at least for me, it's taken it toll on my mental health.

Life is hard pretty much all the time for different reasons for different people. This isn't at all to claim that your mental health can't suffer if you aren't in college. Not at all. Just simply that college provides its own reasons and situations that may affect us.

That's why it's so important to remember to make your mental health a priority while you're in college. It's so incredibly easy to push it to the side and let it get worse—trust me, I've done it.

There are so many resources and things you can do to not let college get in the way of you being the best version of you. The best advice I've ever gotten in regards to my mental health is this: It's okay to put yourself first, and it's okay to say no. If you don't want to go out this weekend even though you told your friends you would, that's okay. If they're truly your friends, they'll understand.

Making sure to take time for yourself is also absolutely crucial. Aside from doing the things you have to do, make sure you're doing things you want to do. For me, that's journaling and working out.

I do both of those things every single day for the most part. I love journaling because it helps me to get my thoughts out and helps me to make sense of them, which is a big deal for me because my mind is literally always racing. Working out is also a game changer. It just makes me feel so good. All my fellow Legally Blonde fans know how working out gives you endorphins! It's the best.

Besides those things, it's also important to keep in mind that your campus more likely than not has resources available to you when it comes to mental health. At my university, there is a counseling center website students are able to go to where they are able to see the resources available to them. It's okay to ask for help. It's brave. Sometimes it's terrifying, but it's okay.

Whether you're a freshman or a senior, college can really take a toll on your mental health. People say they're the best years of your life, but that can only happen if you don't let your mental health worsen. Take time for yourself, do what makes you feel alive, remind yourself that you can say "no," and always get help if you need it.

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21 Lies College Students Tell Their Parents

I can almost guarantee that you have used at least five of these.

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Let's be honest. College is the best time of your life for a lot of reasons, and maybe you should not tell your mom all of them when she calls. I can almost guarantee that you have used at least five of these, and the others — maybe you should try next time!

1. "I can't talk now, I'm in the library."

Typically used when the student is too hungover to talk.

2. "Gotta go now, I'm walking into class."

Then hit play on Netflix.

3. "I think it might be food poisoning."

Was it the food, or all of that alcohol? Your symptoms sound more like a hangover to me.

4. "No, I didn't just wake up."

It is 4 p.m. and, yes, you did.

5. "I need more money for laundry and food."

Meaning, "I need more money for things I don't think you will give me money for."

6. "I never skip class!"

When we use this one, it usually does not refer to anything before 11 a.m.

7. "I studied all night for that test!"

If by "studied all night" you mean you watched TV shows in the library, then, yes, all night.

8. "Everyone failed that test."

And by everyone, I mean me and my friend who did not go to sleep until 3 a.m.

9. "I'm walking home from breakfast with my friends."

Yeah, OK. You are just lucky she cannot see last night's outfit and the high heels you are carrying. We know where you have been.

10. "Potbelly's is a restaurant."

I mean, they may sell tacos, but I'm not sure I would call it a restaurant.

11. "I go to Cantina's for the Nachos."

I hope that is not the only reason but, hey, you do you.

12. "The $40 charge on the card from last Saturday? That was for school supplies!"

Yeah, right. It was for a new dress.

13. "Nobody goes out on weeknights, especially not me."

We all know grades come first, right?

14. "I can't remember the last time I went out!"

Literally.

15. "I make my bed regularly"

About as often as I clean the bathroom.

16. "I did not say 'Margarita Monday,' I said I went to 'Margaret's on Monday'!"

Following the use of this lie, do not post any pictures on social media of you with a margarita.

17. "I use my meal plan, and eat in the dining hall all the time."

As you scarf down Chick-fil-A.

18. "I eat healthy!"

For those without a meal plan who have to grocery shop on their own, we all know you spend $2 on a 12-pack of Ramen noodles and the rest on a different kind of 12-pack.

19. "No, I don't have a fake ID."

OK, "John Smith," and where exactly in Wyoming are you from?

20. "I'm doing great in all of my classes."

We use this one because you cannot see our grades online, anymore.

21. "I did not wait until the last minute to start on this."

We all know that if you start a paper before 10 p.m. the night before it is due, you are doing something wrong.

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If My Daughter Ends Up Joining A Sorority, Well, Good Luck Charlie

If my future daughter does end up reading this, I hope you know I will always support you.

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If I ever have a child, I will support them with whatever their passion is. I will be there cheering for them whether it be in the stands of a high school sporting event, or just cheering them on at home as they crush their mountain of homework.

Spring semester of my freshman year, I decided to rush. At the time, I had a small group of friends but wanted to expand my circle. I tried joining a few clubs my first semester, but I was really isolating myself in my dorm room to study and occasionally getting something to eat. I craved more, and going out for spring recruitment seemed like the perfect opportunity to force myself to make friends.

If you knew me back in high school, I was so against the concept of Greek life. My mother was in a sorority when she was in college, and it just never appealed to me. I never had the pressure to become a legacy, or that it was something every college girl had to do as a way to get boys. I didn't like the idea of conformity or paying for friends essentially. It just wasn't how I picked my college experience.

After receiving my bid though, I call what I entered the honeymoon phase. Everything seemed perfect. From the moment I walked into the bid day celebration, I felt like I made the right decision. I dreamed of maybe being on the executive board and making a huge difference for my campus's Greek community. All the girls I would call my "sisters" were just warm and welcoming, and I felt like I had found my place. I was just over the moon. I even was so "in love" that I ended up writing a handful of articles about the perks of Greek life.

And I am not here saying the whole experience was bad. Everyone has different experiences and every chapter is different. You really do get what you put into it. I ended up with an amazing big and little to match. Those two are actually like sisters to me, and I couldn't imagine my life without them. I also gained the most amazing friends who constantly support me despite being an alumna of my sorority now. There are benefits to Greek life, trust me.

However, there is a dark side to Greek life nobody mentions. You will fall out of that honeymoon phase, falling out of love with your sorority. You may even question why you joined in the first place. I know I do sometimes. At least for me, I was pressured into fitting into an image, one where I was meant to be happy all the time. I was even confronted by a few sisters who spread rumors about me because they mistook my anxiety and started to spread rumors I was gossiping even if I was just expressing my frustration with someone standing in front of me.

There was a period of my life where I just wasn't okay. A few people I let into that chaotic period of my life and some of them were my sisters and people I was told to "trust." Yet, some of these people didn't have my full trust. They told me I needed to learn to control my anxiety better without asking me what was bothering me. They didn't take the time to find out that I was struggling with a shooting back home that just rocked my world. I was anxious because I constantly worried about myself, my parents, and people back home. I lost motivation in school. I couldn't sleep. And somehow, I was still the bad guy because I wasn't happy all the time. Someone at my school's tech center saw me upset and believed I was spreading rumors, which is so far from the truth.

My experience with Greek life was far from picture perfect at the end of my journey in my sorority. There are times I still question why I convinced myself to sign up for recruitment, but there are days I am thankful for at least the experience because of the people it brought into my life.

If my future daughter does end up reading this, I hope you know I will always support you. However, it is important to realize that despite all the positives a situation may have, there can also be negatives. Not everything in life will end up being picture perfect. Whatever you choose to do, I will be your shoulder to cry on or your best friend to share the joy with you.

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