Mental health becoming a leading factor in college dropouts, make time for you

April 04, 2017

Mara Green

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     “I’m tired” has become synonymous with “I’m good” when you ask any college student how they’re doing during the semester.

     Students will cite difficult classes, working full time and taking care of a family as reasons for a difficult semester, while some aren’t sure what’s at the root of their lack of energy and motivation.

     College stress is as much of a joke on Twitter as it is a problem in the U.S.

     According to a Public Agenda study, 54 percent of college students responded that stress is what made them drop out of college. And Science Daily reported that college students with depression and anxiety are twice as likely to drop out of college compared to their peers.

     We often forget that our mental health should take precedent over our classes and grades, and that we’re allowed to rely on others to help us out.

     You can’t pass a class when you can’t focus, let alone make it through four years with an unmotivated, exhausted mentality.

     In 2014, The Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA reported that 50.7 percent of students had dropped in self-rated emotional health since the previous year, and that more colleges are seeking to accommodate their students’ mental health.

     If you’re feeling like the stress is overbearing, remember that resources exist to help maintain your mental health during your time in college.

     Making yourself more comfortable in college is important, along with learning coping methods and keeping in mind that a letter grade is not the end of the world.

     As a student you should stay acquainted with professors even after you take their class. They can help you out with questions, especially if they teach a class within your major or career field.

     When you get out of class, take a breather for 20-30 minutes. Meditate or do yoga, play a game, take a power nap or find something that will make your brain slow down.

     School doesn’t have to be a 24-hour affair, and making time for yourself isn’t selfish.

     Those two and a half-hour long lectures can take a toll. If you find yourself sitting for more than an hour, get up and move around.

     With the Kraemer Family Library addition of treadmills, you can’t run from studying and exercise anymore.

     Also get to know people in your classes. Even if you hate the subject, there’s bound to be one more person who agrees with you.

     Mutually bonding over a shared distaste in calculus never hurt anyone, and studying alongside these new friends can help you along the way.

     When in doubt, UCCS’ Wellness Center provides testing, services and resources. The stress that college introduces into your life is something that everyone should take seriously.

     As a college student with more than just academics on your plate, you as an individual are representative of only you.

     You are the only one that gauges your capabilities, so when issues arise it’s always healthy to know what you are or are not capable of.

     You have the capability to turn “I’m tired” back into a genuine “I’m actually doing good.”