OPINION: A college girl’s guide to mental health


Wren Johnson

College girl’s guide illustration depicting Danielle Wagner’s column about mental health.

Every single day, all over the world, college students are struggling with their mental health. Among these may be your friends, your classmates or even yourself.

Mental health is something that is commonly overlooked on college campuses, but is so important to understand.

People who struggle with mental health issues not only have problems in classes, but also in their social lives. Sometimes those who aren’t experiencing mental health problems first hand don’t understand what it’s like.

Let me break it down for you. As someone who has been fighting with their mental health since I was a freshman in high school, I understand the struggles to some extent.

While my experiences are not the same as everyone else’s, I feel that I have some insight into the mental health crisis.

What has helped me the most is finding a routine. When it feels like everything is out of your control, having the stability of a routine can help in ways you never imagined.

I don’t just mean having your work and class schedule, but the things you do when you wake up everyday and before you go to bed. Consistency is key.

Not only does this help with control, but also helps when you feel like you don’t have a purpose. Make good habits and find what works for you.

For instance, the first thing I do when I wake up is make my coffee then read while I drink it. Then every night before bed I watch New Girl with my sister. They’re just little things, but it’s what I look forward to the most every day.

Fitting breaks into your schedule can do wonders for your mental health. When you get overwhelmed, it’s easy to shut down.

Forcing yourself to get through your tasks isn’t going to benefit you. Those breaks can help you collect yourself and produce a better product. Quality over quantity.

Account for some you-time before things get bad. You don’t have to be going full speed all the time. It’s okay to slow down and take care of yourself.

Find those activities that help you calm down. It could be anything from reading to a full on spa day.

Sometimes those little joys in life can be just what you need. The people you run into on campus might be struggling just as much as you, so don’t be afraid to pay them a compliment. It might just make their day a little better.

Remember that it’s okay to struggle sometimes, but it shouldn’t feel like you can’t come up for air.

If you’re struggling with any sort of mental illness there are people out there who can help you. Talk to your friends; they’re there for you.

Therapy is a great option to help sort out everything that’s going on in your head. It may not be for everyone, but it’s worth a shot.Counseling and prevention services are on campus and ready to help you. They offer a variety of services and even have a mental health screening if you’re not sure what’s wrong.