First year in college or grad school can be brutal for the students. Students who are far from home, trying to create a new life in a new city can suffer from deteriorating mental health. Good news is that it is a correctable issue. Even if you are feeling momentarily lost or low, you can get over it with simple precautions.
Given the covid-19 pandemic and heartbreaking news coming from all corners of the world, we have brought in expert Counseling Psychologist, Sharmishtha Khanna for some well-meant advice. The following post is authored by her.
What causes mental health issues in students?
When the surroundings are unusual and the friendships uncertain, the tendency to feel insecure and weak can come through. In such a situation, it becomes even more important to seek mental stability. You must remember that the onset of college life can be tough at times, but it is worth the effort.
My dear students, the initial excitement and ‘fear of missing out’ can endanger your mental health, so take it easy on yourselves. Take your time to settle in, get accustomed to the novel environment and make friends. If you are in a rush to do everything soon, there are chances that you will not be able to handle all the pressure. Listen to your mind and body, it will always tell you what you can do and when.
This does not mean that you do not push your boundaries – do so with preparation and effort, rather than compulsion and peer pressure.
“A lack of sleep, poor eating habits, and not enough exercise are a recipe for depression among college students. The stress that comes with academia — including financial worries, pressure to get a good job after school, and failed relationships — is enough to force some students to leave college or worse.”- www.healthline.com
How can students cope with depressing thoughts?
- Stay in touch with your family and friends, talk to them about your struggles at college and personal life. have someone who you can reach out to when feeling low.
- Avoid peer pressure as much as you can. In order to be a part of some group, students do the things that they may not do otherwise. Refrain from losing your sanity because of someone else.
- Take charge of your life, set limits for yourself in terms of social activities that involve any kind of intoxication. Exercise the power of choice.
- Be assertive. Do not succumb to bullying and report it as and when required. You do not deserve to be insulted and nobody has the right to do that to you. Stay away from such people.
- Romantic relationships, at this age, can seem overtly important for survival – losing people may feel like world is ending but remember that it is not the case.
- Practice mindfulness. Learn to be in the moment and abstain from living in the past or future. There are apps like Headspace, Calm and Balance that you can use to get started.
- Focus on the short term goals that will eventually lead to the main goal. It will build confidence and help you succeed in your endeavours.
- Some plans will work out, others may not. Keep trying without worrying about the end result, that is what is in your hands- free will.
- Most importantly, seek help when required. Do not let some kind of mental block delay your visit to a therapist. The earlier you identify the problem, there are better chances of you coming out of it.
About the author: Sharmishtha Khanna is a Counseling Psychologist with clients world over. She has been in the field since the last 5 years and has touched the lives of many individuals and helped them in becoming a better version of themselves. She is trained in Cognitive Behaviour and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapies. You can find her write ups and posts under the name of Maansikta on Facebook and @Maansikta.health on Instagram. She is available for e-counseling, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, along with Facebook Messenger and DM on Instagram for the same.
Most graduate schools have an in-house counselor and visiting them is covered in your student health coverage. If you are feeling low and sinking into negativity, reach out and make an appointment with your counselor TODAY.