How Students Can Maintain Mental Health at College

Jun 30, 2011

Many students experience anxiety and depression as they transition into college due to the unfamiliar school setting and the pressures of excelling academically. Although these feelings may vanish as you adjust to college life, there are steps you can take to help maintain a healthy mental state.

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Attend College Orientation

You'll get an opportunity to meet new students, professors, and learn where certain things are located, such as the library, writing lab, medical facilities, and student services. You'll also learn about available resources for incoming students, such as mentorships or career guidance services.

Stay Connected

Keep in touch with your parents, relatives, and friends for emotional support as you adjust to college life. Don't be afraid of sharing your feelings with loved ones - their advice may put you at ease. If you live close to home, visit once in a while and spend valuable time with your family.

Care for Your Body

Keep your body in great shape by eating healthy and exercising. Find out if your college has a gym you can visit regularly, and find places on campus that offer healthy eating options. Don't make a habit of staying up too late, and try to consistently get a good night's sleep. Avoid using alcohol and drugs - they will only aggravate your problems. Lastly, try different relaxation techniques, such as meditation, jogging, or yoga.

Give to Others

Volunteering your time can give you a sense of self-gratification and productivity. You can find out about volunteer opportunities by visiting your school's career center or stopping by your academic department of choice.

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Learn How to Cope with Stress

Unfortunately, stress is inevitable; you'll need to find ways to deal with it effectively and efficiently. Some ways of coping with stress include journaling, going for a walk, laughing, breathing in and out, or talking to a friend.

Set Realistic Goals

Create a list of short-term and long-term academic and personal goals you hope to achieve. Make sure that your goals are realistic, and don't over-commit your time - it may lead to increased stress and cause you to lose focus.

Change It Up!

Break your daily routine once in a while to avoid monotony. For instance, plan a road trip when you have a three-day weekend. Other ways of changing up your routine include visiting a new restaurant, city sightseeing, visiting local art galleries, meeting up with old friends, or even taking a walk in a new park.

Get Help if Necessary

If you can't solve emotional or social problems on your own, make sure you seek professional help. Getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness. With the right therapy and professional guidance, you can continue living a healthy life.

Once you've adjusted to life as a college student, follow these helpful tips to make the most of your educational experience.

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