Importance of having a support system

30 October 2018

Scribe staff

scribe@uccs.edu

Life is stressful enough, and then you go to college. However, having a support system in place that is there when you need them during stressful times is of the utmost importance as a college student. Support systems can range from friends, to colleagues, to counselors, or professors. Seeking these important supporters is crucial for a college student’s success during their education.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four students has a diagnosed mental illness, and about 40 percent of those individuals do not seek help according to memd.net.

So many students are struggling with mental illness, yet so few seek help because asking for help is often looked down upon. Some students may feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness but actually seeking help for support systems is one of the best things you could ever do during your time at college.

There is a cultural stigma toward mental health care that exists in our society, and it prevents students from seeking help from counselors or mental health professionals, especially for students who have common mental health issues like depression or anxiety.

According to VA counseling, a support system, simply, is an informal network of people you rely on — emotionally or practically. The usual suspects are family members, friends, coworkers, neighbors. It could also be members of voluntary organizations, religious groups, teammates, or online buddies.

The best way to find these types of support systems is through school clubs, sports teams, in your classes or even working on campus.

According to WebMD, friends encourage you to take better care of yourself. And people with wider social networks are higher in self-esteem, and they feel they have more control over their lives. This is very important for students who are overwhelmed with class work and other obligations.

Through regular socializing, students develop lifelong connections that pay off in unexpected ways — often long after leaving the classroom. That’s the consensus of graduates such as Evan Bloom, who met his catering business partner at the University of California, reported the Chronicle of Higher Education in May 2011.

Finding support groups, and having social interaction can help alleviate stress that college students experience on a daily basis.

According to education.seattlepi.com, socializing relieves the stresses of college life. Connecting with other people is especially important for incoming students as they adjust to the realities of new living arrangements and relationships, according to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s counseling office. These challenges also coincide with the stress of learning to manage your daily life. Reaching out to others helps to ease loneliness and makes it more likely that you’ll develop good social skills, which you’ll need in the workplace.

According to WebMD, we are social animals, and we have evolved to be in groups. We have always needed others for our survival. It’s in our genes. People with a big social group tend to be more at peace, which leads to better health.

Students shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask and seek out help, whether it is from friends or mental health professionals, because it will help them succeed in their college career, and in life in general.

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