The deterioration of college students’ mental health is a daily struggle for many, especially during their first year of college.
A study led by the National Library of Medicine concluded that there are many factors that play into a college student’s mental health. The factors that contribute are things such as academic pressure and family dynamics, as well as the pressure of just beginning college.
“I feel like college is such a unique experience for mental health,” said Paige Anderson, sophomore biology major at Kentucky Wesleyan College. “You just have thousands of young adults learning to live on their own for the first time, desperate to not be lonely, being thousands of dollars in debt with massive workloads and no money.”
In the study, the National Library of Medicine concluded that not only should mental health providers expand their knowledge on the prevalence and range of mental health occurring problems, but they should also enhance their strategies to get more students to seek help when they need it.
“I wish the school would promote more mental health awareness and resources,” said Adi Shijo, a freshman computer science major at the University of Memphis. “Although I don’t need it, it would be helpful to know what resources I do have.”
Mental health problems are common in college students who suffer with substance abuse, anxiety or depression. Combining that with the stress of schoolwork, work stress and maintaining a social life, that pressure can be overwhelming for many.
“I've felt both the highs and lows that come with trying to succeed academically,” said Ron Williams, freshmen computer science major at Michigan State. “And they can either be the greatest motivation or demotivate you to continue giving it your all.”
Most mental health disorders occur during the early years of adulthood, according to the National Library of Medicine. By the age of 25, 75% of those who will develop a mental health disorder have already had their first onset.
“I feel like I can’t balance attending class with doing schoolwork, going to the studio, studying, working at my job, making enough money to eat, while simultaneously experiencing my youth with friends, events, traveling, etc.,” said Alex Tauberschmidt, junior art major at University of Memphis.
Balancing things such as a social life, food, work and school all together is a never-ending stress factor that people before the age of 25 have to deal with. Limited time to do activities that would lower mental straining often are put to a halt since it's expected to take care of what's more important. Finding methods to help improve your overall mental health may be something as simple as hanging out with your friends more often or setting up a therapy session to talk about your concerns in life and exercises to help raise your morale.
“Working on mental health is important, and it is important to find the treatments and methods that are right for you,” said Joey Herath, senior film major at Columbia College Hollywood. “Your first experiences with any sorts of medication or therapy might not be perfect, but you can eventually find the right fit for yourself.”