47 How to help your mental health while you are a student during a pandemic.

Ryan Burchett

Mental health is a very crucial part of our lives. It really defines who we are, how we act, and how we react to things. Trying to stay calm is hard during some situations, especially when your campus is on lockdown due to a global pandemic. Covid-19 has changed the world in less than a year, from seeing people succumb to this virus and spending 14 days by themselves, it is a tricky thing for anyone to get used to. I am writing this with the purpose of helping someone while Covid continues to go rampant, hopefully. There are many tips on how to stay calm while you are stressed plum out. Such as, take your medications (if you are on any), see the Thrive counseling center, have a good friend group, and finding extra things to do around campus.

Taking your medications is an incredibly important thing when you struggle with any form of depression or anxiety. According to healthline.com, in an article written by Kimberly Holland, if you feel that you do not need your medication anymore and just randomly quit taking it without consulting your medical care provider, it can be life-threatening. Suicide is a critical concern and can also trigger withdrawal symptoms and relapse of your depression. And of course, insurance makes it harder for people to get their medications, but if you talk to someone and research how to get yourself better insurance, it will make it much easier for you and your mental health.

Mental health and any stress or distress can have a significant effect on our wellbeing. That is why The University of Pikeville Thrive Counseling Center supplies short-term mental health services, including personal counseling, group counseling, consultation, and referrals. Services are free and confidential for all currently enrolled students. This has many great resources for students; if you cannot meet in person, you can have Zoom meetings, text, call, or email a counselor. This is a wonderful service for teenage college students, so do not think twice if you are in a mental health emergency; these are some of the nicest people you have on campus.

According to many people I have talked to on campus, they told me that having an extra-curricular in college helps with being bummed out. One student told me, “if you’re somewhere doing something fun that you enjoy with people you enjoy being around, you are too busy to be sad. It’s like it evens out” join a sports team, be a tutor at the school if you are really good, join band, join something that you like! It will do you a world of good, having a fun time in college.

An important thing to have in college is good friends; they are an amazing thing to have in your life. They see you at your best, at your worst, through the highs and the lows of life. That is why the older you get, it is essential to have good friends, a shoulder to cry on or spend your time with when you are happy or sad. I have met some of my greatest friends already in my going on the third month of college, and it does make your mental health a deal of good. As hard as it can be, when you move into your dorm room, you have those few days to meet people at orientation, go out, and be social. Meet your dorm neighbors, go to the café with new people, hang out in the lounge with them! It is so exciting sometimes to meet new people!

Thank you, future and current Bears, for reading this, and I hope you took something out of it. I’ll leave you with something an older friend of mine who went back to school at 40, she said “be available for fun, and doing your work. Don’t mess around all week and do it 2 hours till midnight on Sunday, that just adds to the stress.” thank you very much for coming to my TED talk. Stay safe, stay healthy, Mask up, and Go Bears!!


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