College is so many things: fun, exciting, nerve-wracking, joyful, stressful, annoying, scary, and unpredictable. It’s easy to get swept up in all of the chaos that is college and get blindsided by the stress, but there are several ways to prevent the negatives from outweighing the positives. During the first few weeks in a new school, we do what every other student is trying to do: rush to make friends quickly and easily in the hopes of finding a place where we belong. What many people fail to realize is that having a bunch of superficial friends isn’t enough to get and stay happy because there is no guarantee that these people are going to stay with you for the long journey that is your college career.
Everyone has heard about the devastating suicide of Madison Holleran,which was caused by her feelings of being overwhelmed by classes, despite her active role in athletics and her numerous supportive friends. It is so very easy for stress to get the best of you and to begin feeling like your best efforts just aren’t good enough, but it is important to know that you are important and it is going to be good enough. As said in various reports, she told her parents that she felt extremely pressured by her classes, yet refused the offer to transfer to any other school that could reduce her anxiety. If you are unhappy at your school, seek help from anyone who will give it: friends, a teacher, your coach, or even the school’s psychologist, because getting your emotions under control and having the right mindset is essential to fighting off the thoughts that tell you are done.
In the case of Madison, she did what most students are too scared to, she let her parents know about her change in emotions and thinking. While it seems like the best thing to keep your feelings in, but letting your family know you are struggling is essential to let someone in your family know so that they can get you any help you might need. Madison’s parents offered many things, including a transfer from school, and got her to see a therapist. Unfortunately, despite their great efforts, she chose to go back to the same school, which is where she took her life and left everyone in her life heartbroken.
Most people don’t realize how much they truly impact the lives of those around them, which is what makes people so emotionally unstable in the first place. If you think your friends don’t care, just remember that they might just be going through something themselves or that maybe they be really distracted. That friend who seems happy all the time might just be the same person who relies on your advice and support. If you feel overwhelmed by the expectations of your teachers, it is so easy to go talk to them.
If your problem does have to do with your classes or amount of homework, go visit your teachers during their office hours or send them a quick email and let them know that your are having problems. Teachers really do care about your welfare in their classes and will often work out a plan with you to help you get and stay on track. Teachers are very versatile with meeting your needs and are eager to help you in most ways. If you feel like you aren’t retaining the information, ask about tutoring opportunities and possible meetings with the teacher to go over what you are struggling with the most.
If you are struggling emotionally and feel vulnerable and overwhelmed by everything going on in your life, make sure you talk to someone and get help to resolve any issues you are having.