By The Gatepost Editorial Board As November begins, temperatures are declining, the sun is setting earlier, and the pressure of academics is rising.
With heavy workloads and fast-approaching deadlines, it's not surprising students are feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
According to the Mayo Clinic, recent studies have shown that one in three college students experiences “significant” anxiety and depression, with 44% reporting one or more symptoms.
The Mayo Clinic also credits a “substantial” increase in mental health concerns to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to succeed in college, it is important for students to listen to their bodies and know when it is time to take a break.
Practicing self-care can make a major difference in a student’s academic performance.
Self-care can come in various forms, including physical, emotional, social, and spiritual.
From simply getting enough sleep to watching the latest episode of a favorite television show, self-care can look different for everyone.
What works for one student may not work for everyone and when discovering what self-care strategy might be right, don’t be afraid to try something new.
Creating a personalized balance between self-care and academics is important in maintaining mental health.
According to Mental Health First Aid, the inclusion of self-care in one’s daily routine results in an increase in confidence by approximately 64%, productivity by approximately 67%, happiness by approximately 71%, and an improvement in overall health.
Another aspect to self-care is using the resources available on campus as needed.
For overall mental health care, Framingham State’s Counseling Center is available for appointments online or in person at no additional cost to students.
The center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can be contacted by phone at 508-626-4640 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walk-in appointments are available at 2:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Counseling Center also provides resources on its framingham.edu page, including for racial trauma and emotional wellbeing during the pandemic.
An online, anonymous mental health self-assessment is also available and will screen for depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, PTSD, eating disorders, and bipolar disorder.
If course load management is a problem, CASA employs specialized tutors known as Academic Strategy Peer Tutors, whose sole purpose is to help other students work on time management skills, studying and test-taking strategies, and ways to improve in note-taking.
CASA also has tutors available for various subjects as well as writing tutors to help students with specific assignments, projects, and papers.
SEALS Peer Health Educators often host tables in the McCarthy Center and hold outreach events aimed at informing students on mental health and self-care, while also handing out care packages.
As final exams approach, SEALS will be hosting more of these tables for students.
The SEALS framingham.edu page also includes a section on self-care, with a variety of resources and information.
Students facing food and/or housing insecurity can reach out to the Dean of Students Office.
The resources on this campus are intentionally planned and offered for students.
College can be quite overwhelming, but we are not alone in our struggle.
We must prioritize our mental health and choose to take care of ourselves.
For emergency mental health resources:
Suicide Prevention Helpline
Free 24/7 confidential mental health & emotional support call line
CRISIS TEXT LINE
Text "Start" to 741-741
Free 24/7 confidential emotional support text service