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5 Mental Health Tips for College Students

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As a new school year is beginning, students experience a variety of feelings. The feeling of disappointment that the fun of the summer will soon be over. The feeling of excitement and anticipation to see old friends and maybe even make some new ones. Sometimes, feelings of doubt, anxiety, uneasiness, stress, and uncertainty creep in and interfere with what should be the best time of your life. Here are some tips to keep your mental health in check when these feelings threaten to derail you from your academic goals.

Eat right.

It can be tempting to live off ramen and grilled cheese sandwiches, but remember: mind and body are connected. If you aren’t eating right, you won’t just feel it in your body. You will feel it mentally too. Some great tips for eating a diet that can help conquer those feelings of depression can be found here.

Get plenty of rest.

Sometimes this is easier said than done when you may have trouble sleeping due to your depression. It may be tempting to stay out late and party on the weekends, but making rest a priority will help ensure you don’t get overwhelmed during the rest of the week.

Prioritize your responsibilities.

Make a checklist of what you need to get done and when. You can get easily overwhelmed if you procrastinate on projects and papers, but making a list and sticking to it will help you keep it all straight in your mind.

Have fun.

Sure, you should buckle down and study. You should work your hardest to learn as much as you can and get good grades, but don’t put so much pressure on yourself that you miss out on other great things about the college experience. Have fun with your friends. Go to the movies. Enjoy on-campus activities, sporting events, and get-togethers with friends. It’s important to take a break and spend some time away from studying every once in a while.

Don’t be afraid to get help.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or depressed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Talk to your friends, call your parents, or talk to your professors. If things get too overwhelming or feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress continue for more than a few weeks, most college campuses have a counseling center. If you are not sure if your campus does, check with your academic advisor or your RA. If you are uneasy going to a counseling center, you can turn to some other resources for help. Boys Town National Hotline (1-800-448-3000) has specially trained counselors who can speak with you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can also chat, text, or e-mail at

Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: August 8, 2016
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