Why Mental Health is Important in College

Hi everyone! I am Kiet Le and I love college so much that I have worked at one for almost the past decade. College isn't all sunshine and rainbows. I have found myself and witnessed others in some of their darkest stages of life because the college lifestyle is very demanding for both students and administrators. I have worked at six different universities and various levels from public to private, medium-sized to small, four year to two year, just to name a few.

A New Start

College is a new start. Sometimes right out of high school. Sometimes away from family. It all looks different for everyone but it is a chance to change your life and the lives around you. New starts often come with stress connected to the transition of learning something new, the balance of old expectations and new expectations, finding what works and what doesn't, the temptations of actions that can distract you, and many more.

Transition sometimes can lead to anxiety and depression if it isn’t handled appropriately.

Self Care IS Personal Care

However, the great thing about college is that there are many resources to help you during that time of transition. Many colleges and universities offer free or extremely discounted counseling services. Call your college or university operations line and ask to be connected to the resource if there isn’t a university health clinic. If you aren’t comfortable with that, there are many college administrators that are trained to help you process these feelings. Reach out to your academic advisors, residence advisors, dean of students, etc., the list is almost endless!

A great start to positive self-care is setting boundaries and sticking to them. Understand that you have limits and only you can control your limits. Don't take on too much and don't relax too much. Find what works for you and keep a healthy balance. You cannot pour from an empty cup and if you are running on "E" you will not be able to give to others.

Do You, BeYOUtiful

Another recommendation is to dream your dreams and not work for the dreams of others (ie: family, friends, society). In the end, you can't be a doctor or lawyer because your parents want you to be one and be happy at the same time. If you do that, you will likely be an unhappy doctor or lawyer. You may have unhappy people in your life, but your life is your life and your career is what will help drive YOUR future.

My last recommendation is to find your circle. College is a time to discover who you really are and there are other people there with the same interests. Start your discovery with orientation, welcome week activities, organization fairs, coffee shops, your dorm, FB groups, MeetUps, or whatever fits your personality. Create a circle that adds to your energy and light to your life. If you keep a circle of light around you, I promise that on your darkest days they will help you find your way out.

Peace out and stay awesome!

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