By Dymond McElrath
Being a college student comes with a plethora of different challenges–physically, mentally and emotionally. Finding the appropriate balance between attending class, work, schoolwork, athletic practices/games and extracurricular activities while keeping a level head and calm mind can quickly become stressful; especially for students who have never been on their own before or have never had this many responsibilities to juggle. Nevertheless, in the midst of all the college craziness, it is important for students to be able to safely cope with the mental, life, relationship, and school struggles they are going through.
Mental health has become a popular topic around the world over the past few years. Individuals have begun to understand the importance of mental health and even began taking actions to strengthen and motivate their mental health. Students on McPherson College campus have found many ways to cope with mental stress, such as, meditating, meeting with school counselors throughout the week (which MC students get 10 free sessions), and even creating their schedules months in advance to avoid future stress. In addition, some students stated that they take “mental off days.” Being in the same environment for nine months can be draining and exhausting. So, during these mental break days, students recharge their mental health and simply take care of the internal and external issues they are going through before entering the classroom again. Although missing class is not encouraged, being mentally stable and feeling capable is much more important and leads to a better in-class performance.
Over half of the student population is from out of state. Despite the events occurring at school, students still have lives and families’ outside of McPherson, and life is still carrying on. Whether it be positive, like a new baby in the family, or negative, like a death in the family, life is still happening while students are away. In times like this, students say they confide in a close friend/teammate, or they express their problems to a coach or reliable faculty member. Traveling home cannot always happen for multiple reasons, like, students not having the financial means to travel or not having time in their athletic schedule. Nevertheless, communicating and being vulnerable towards trustworthy individuals around campus can positively help and even feel like a sense of relief.
There are many issues students run into throughout college, whether it be inside the classroom or out. However, no matter what the issue may be, bringing the issue(s) to light and talking about it, is the first step to overcoming it. Nevertheless, any problem students are going through should begin with communication. Not wanting others in a person’s personal business is understandable, however, keeping emotions and feelings internalized is dangerous and can cause bigger problems in the end. If you’re having trouble with anything, talk to someone—there is a someone for everything (including your professors)!