What no one tells us about mental health

Starting college can be a huge stress among new students. Most students go straight from graduating high school to attending college or university, and three

months of summer in between sometimes isn’t enough time to prepare students for the college experience.

Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, over 91 percent of college females and over 77 percent of college males felt overwhelmed by all they had to do during the school year, according to a 2018 study done by the National College Health Assessment.

Between going to class, going to work, studying and completing assignments, it is normal for students to feel as if they are overwhelmed— but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an underlying issue.

Although you’re here to study, life still goes on in the world around you. For instance, many students find themselves dealing with personal issues such as family problems, health issues and financial struggles. Over 54 percent of college students reported having three or more personal issues which were “traumatic or very difficult to handle,” according to NCHA.

More than 44 percent of college students said that they felt tired, dragged out or sleepy three to five days out of the week, according to the same NCHA study. As a freshman, it can be hard to develop a healthy sleep schedule during the first semester, but it’s vital to your mental health and academic performance. Sleepeducation.org suggests that people limit exposure to bright light in the evenings and to establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Both of these things can lead to a healthier and routine sleep schedule.

College is a time to find yourself and have fun while earning your degree and preparing for a career, but it isn’t always a breeze. Be sure to get adequate sleep and eat nutritious meals throughout the week. 

If you or someone you know seems to be experiencing overwhelming stress, anxiety or depression, Kent State offers a magnitude of resources such as counseling and therapy groups.

Psychological Services, located in the DeWeese Health Center, sets up an initial evaluation appointment and then schedules the student accordingly. These services are often covered by health insurance.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-TALK, is also available 24/7 for people to call and speak to a professional.

The Counseling Center, located in White Hall, is free to students. However, instead of a licensed professional, these appointments serve as training clinics for graduate students in the Counselor Education and Supervision program.

The Psychological Clinic, located in Kent Hall, has services provided by masters and doctorate students. This clinic aims to train graduate students while also providing therapy.

Personally, I went through a lot of changes when I started as a freshman at Kent State: a breakup, loss of close friends and being an hour away from home. I felt alone and confused about what my purpose here at Kent State would be. As I approach my senior year, I have begun to utilize the services offered on campus.

If I could go back, I would tell my freshman self to reach out and ask for help. I feel as if I was not aware of the services that Kent State offers. Attending monthly, and sometimes weekly, therapy sessions at Psychological Services have helped me open up and face the troubles that I had boxed up so many years ago.