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How to stay mentally fit in college

As a college student it’s far too easy to go about our day disregarding our mental health. We put it off as being too tired or any other excuse other than being in tune with our mental health.

Over the years, mental illness has become a very controversial topic, especially on college campuses. Everyone likes to rave about physical health but no one ever talks about mental health.

According to a recent study by Pennsylvania State University, it shows a trend in counseling and mental health among college students. The study also shows that 1 in 3 first year students struggle with mental health.

Keeping up with mental health is just as important as keeping up with physical health. There are different ways students can keep their mental health in check. .

Being mentally fit starts with getting a good night’s rest. So yes, your parents were right about you needing your rest which is why setting an official bedtime is important.

VSU Junior Nicole Moore said that most students she knows neglect to admit they are mentally ill out of fear for their social appearance.

“I feel like our generation cares too much of what other people think and if they are asking or seeking help they are afraid that they will look weak,” Moore said.

Students may not realize the benefit of talking with a therapist. Seeking help before its actually needed and taking the time to talk with a counselor can prevent a problem before it occurs.

“Keeping my mental health is very important to me, when I feel myself on the verge of a stress attack,” Moore said. I kind of take a moment to myself and breathe. And yoga always helps.”

Upon Penn State’s studies, it shows that anxiety was the leading cost in students seeking out help. It’s not a shock that anxiety is the leading cost in college students. It’s the first time, for most students, that they are figuring out life all on their own.

Feeling stressed about an upcoming exam or midterm or a new job is perfectly normal. Anxiety becomes a chronic problem when it begins to interfere with your life.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, telling the difference on the typical actions of a person versus someone with a mental illness isn’t always easy.

Each illness has its own for of symptoms but knowing the common warning signs include:

  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or “lows”
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
  • Avoiding friends or social gatherings
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches

If you are worried that you suffer from symptoms of anxiety or any form of a mental health breach, you should reach out to a professional. When starting college, it tends to be easy to shut yourself from the world when struggling with mental health.

Here at VSU, the Counseling Center provides free and confidential services to all VSU students including individual, group and couples counseling. They even offer a virtual relaxation room online if a student prefers being in the comfort of their own home.

Written by Donisha Branham, Staff Writer. Photo Courtesy of  the VSU. 

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