How to Maintain Good Mental Health in College

College is a time of incredible growth and personal development. Undoubtedly, though, college can be stressful at times. With the demand of college-level academics, involvement in student organizations, and having a job, college can sometimes feel like a juggling act. Learning to handle the challenges of college can be done. Utilizing the following tips can help you maintain good mental health during your time in college!

Finding Balance

College is all about finding balance among the various activities you are involved in. A lot of stress in college stems from difficulties in balancing time among various commitments. Prioritize the things you need to do, and focus on completing the most important ones first. Also, avoiding procrastination by working on assignments in small chunks, instead of marathon-length homework sessions, can be an effective way to approach schoolwork that will help you avoid stress.

Have Boundaries and Set Realistic Expectations for Yourself

It is important to have realistic expectations for yourself and what you can do. As human beings, no one is perfect and can do everything well. Over commitment can lead to stress, so be honest with yourself and feel comfortable saying no to additional activities when you feel overwhelmed by all that needs to get done. Focus, instead, on doing your best and being proud of the incredible things you do!

It’s Okay to Not Constantly Be Productive

The culture of college may make you feel bad occasionally for not being constantly productive. It seems like there is always something to do, but it is important to realize that not every moment needs to be spent being 100% productive. Self-care is important, but it is often neglected by college students. It is easy to get caught up in the rapidness of daily life, but setting aside time to engage in self-care activities, such as going for a walk, meditating, or listening to music, can help you feel refreshed and better prepared to handle life. Another important part of self-care is making sure to get a good night’s sleep, eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water to keep the body functioning as well as possible.

Utilize Resources

College campuses have a wide variety of resources to help students achieve success during their time in college. Counseling centers are a widely utilized resource. At a college counseling center, students often may seek individual or group counseling services, crisis intervention, referral to off-campus resources if needed, and general educational resources about mental health. Other resources on college campuses include health centers, career centers, centers for intercultural engagement and student success, academic support services, disability services, and more! Learning about the resources offered on your campus and making use of them as needed is a great way to receive support while at college.

Have a Plan

Finally, for those students who have experienced mental health concerns in the past, it's a good idea to have a plan in place for handling the transition to college, including plans for seeking treatment, managing medications, and employing positive coping skills. Having this plan in place before arriving on campus can help decrease some of the added stress that these factors may add to life.

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