By THIM Rachna
Going from high school to university is a huge transition that is often overlooked. People tend to say, “It is just studying. How hard can it be?” But there is more to university than just attaining higher education. There are social hurdles that come along with it, such as academic workloads, peer pressure, extracurricular education, and non-academic related stressors. According to a framework for promoting students’ mental wellbeing in universities based in Australia, university students are very vulnerable to psychological distress and mental disorders, and there is a growing concern regarding the severity of mental health difficulties among university students.
Academic-related pressure can put a toll on the wellbeing of students. A mental health research based in the United States, conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in four American students have diagnosable mental illness; 40% of the students usually do not seek help. An estimated 80% of the students feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities, and 50% feel so anxious that they struggled in school.
It is important for students to place priority on their mental health but amidst the tough scheduling, it can be difficult sometimes to balance between becoming a successful student and taking care of yourself. According to NAMI, there are multiple recommendations that students can consider to improve their mental health. Those tips include self-assessment process, support network for students, time management, and taking care of physical health.
Taking a step back and evaluating our own performance sometimes can help us figure out what we really need. Being self-aware allows us to identify which learning strategies and mental coping methods are most effective for you. Additionally, having proper time management or schedule might allow you to have enough space to breathe and become more organized between getting things done and taking care of yourself.
One important thing to note though, when you are feeling overwhelmed by yourself, you should seek professional help when you are going through challenges that your peers cannot help you with.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom,” Aristotle said. Nobody can know yourself better than you. Going off to college, we all might have embraced the goal-oriented mindset, setting our vision on ‘success’. But it really depends on how we define success, and we would be nothing if we do not take good care of ourselves.
Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and ask for help when you need it.
Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.