Mental Health on University Campuses Must Be A Higher Priority
BY ANTON LUCANUS
When going to university, there are a million and one things to juggle at any given time. Aside from the standard lectures and tutorial classes, there is the study at home for upcoming examinations, the research for ongoing assessments, and having to balance four or more courses at once – not to mention all the other aspects of life like work, personal time, and spending time with loved ones. It is difficult to truly understand the weight of being a university student unless one has been through the process themselves. Because of the ongoing juggling act, it is not at all uncommon for students to struggle at some point with aspects of their mental health. It is a constant reminder to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally, but when it comes down to it, physical health is the facet of whole health that tends to get the most attention, the most mileage. The single most important piece of advice that a university student will ever get is to find their balance. Nothing else can really work long-term without that.
When students struggle, it can be difficult to know what the steps are that can help them get back on track. Sometimes the answer can come as easily as taking Astaxanthin or other health vitamins, and sometimes the issue runs a lot deeper and requires ongoing therapeutic work to find a solution. Either way, the most important thing is understanding that, even when it feels hopeless, there is always help. Even with one of the most consistent ailments among university students being mental health struggle, it is a shock to realise just how many students have these issues, verses how many actually get assistance for their struggle. In the US, for example, 66% of students surveyed said that they had experienced or were experiencing mental health struggles. In the same study, just 29% said that they actively reached out or were offered support for their struggles. This is an astonishingly significant gap between those that need help, and those that actually get help.
Because of the chaotic nature of university – particularly around the time that assessment tends to pile up – it is easy for students to fall into counterproductive patterns. Over time, because of the anxiety that counterproductive measures can end up causing a lapse in mental health. Having a system in place that helps the student balance their chaotic schedule works wonders and is more valuable than many students can comprehend. It is easy to go into the semester thinking that one has everything under control, but once the ball starts rolling it can be immensely difficult to take back control if there is a slip. Righting the ship can be next to impossible, and it is so important that students are aware that if their balancing system does not work, if there are cracks, then they have options available to them to help. Academic success is important, but nothing is more important than maintaining positive whole health – and that includes mental health.
On campus, there are multiple portals of assistance that students can use. No matter where a student is going to university, there should always be mental health assistance platforms available. Obvious reasons aside, these platforms literally have hundreds of lives annually. When a student feels overwhelmed and there does not seem to be a place to go to find help for those feelings, they can fall further into their mental health lapse. There is nothing more important than being healthy – that cannot be stressed enough – but amid the chaos of a full university semester, it can be easy to shove one’s own needs to the back of their minds in order to ensure that they are getting their workload complete by the set deadlines. While university is an incredible experience for many students, it can be stressful. Being aware of the ways to lessen that stress and anxiety is crucial.
Life as a university student can be tremendously difficult at times. With so many moving pieces constantly shifting at the same time, it is little wonder that many students deal with mental health struggles at some point throughout their time at university. Of all the pieces of advice that university students are ever likely to get, the single most important one is to ensure that they strike a comfortable balance. In short, what this means is that every student has a different pace, a different way of finding their way through the chaos of university semester. The key to getting through that chaos is to have a system that works for them, and that they can alter and shift where need be. Mental health is complicated, and sometimes even a balancing system cannot solve the entire issue, but it sure helps. There are always platforms that are there to help students where they experience struggle, and these platforms should be taken seriously and utilized often.
Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to guide current students to achieve personal and academic goals