Be conscious of your mental health in college


Cassidy Simpson, Staff Photographer

As a mental health activist and someone who has struggled with my own mental health in the past, I am determined to get people more involved with and aware of their mental health. Every single person’s mental state is different, but many people are not aware of it, or simply do not care, which is definitely concerning.

Approximately 26 percent of Americans ages 18 and older suffer from diagnosable mental disorders, according to the John Hopkins University School of Medicine. When someone suffers from one mental illness, they are prone to receiving another one, like with anxiety and depression, which are commonly linked. The average age at which major depression develops is in our 20’s, which is also right in the middle of most college careers.

As a third-year college student, the hardest thing for me was learning balance and how to use healthy mechanisms to ensure my mental well-being. That being said, everyone, even those without a diagnosed mental disorder, needs to be aware of their mental health.

Being aware of and maintaining your mental well-being will not only give you a longer life, but also a happier one.

According to the article “Mental Health by the Numbers” by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 25 adults (approximately 9.8 million) in the U.S. experienced a serious mental illness in 2018 alone that interfered with their major life activities.

Our mental health includes everything from our emotional to our social well-being.  Having a poor state of mind, along with poor habits, can affect the way we think, feel, or act.

College students struggle sometimes because of stress and all the other aspects that come with being an average college student. When we let stress take over, we truly let it take over and we tend to forget that our mental health always comes first. Positive mental health goes a long way. If we are in touch with our mental health, it is easier to take better care of our physical health.

When someone has a poor state of mind, it is noticeable in the way they choose to physically act.

Focusing more on our daily habits and being aware of what we are doing is a way to benefit our mental health as a whole. It is more noticeable how much mental health is an issue as we enter the world of college.

If we take into consideration our daily habits such as eating right, balancing our social lives with school, and focusing on activities that bring us joy, we can maintain or even improve our mental health. Using the university that you choose to attend as a resource, a way to benefit your mental health, will truly help you in the long run.

Start eating healthier meals, go to the gym and get some exercise, take a break from homework and realize that hanging out with your friends is important too. Simply being aware of your surroundings and mental health benefits your entire being. And finally, living a happy and healthy lifestyle will make you want to experience more of what life has to offer.