College life choices affect mental health

Lirona Joshi

Staff Writer

With the college semester entering its full strength around this time, it is common for students to be swamped with assignments and mid-terms exams. For those students who keep up with the prescribed ideal guideline of studying regularly, the sudden surge in number of assignments or exams during the midterms and finals seasons may seem like a manageable task. 

However, judging by personal experiences and observations, many of us students don’t fall into this ideal category and would rather put in a 200% effort on the last day than push for a regular 20% input through a longer time. Many of us do get by using the last-minute mugging of lessons or submission of assignments to keep up with a good grade point average. However, although our actions may or may not end up affecting the results on our transcript, what we students don’t give a second thought about is how this act affects our mental well-being.

A study done by American Psychological Association shows that anxiety is the top presenting concern among college students (41.6%), followed by depression (36.4%) as the second. While there are many other factors that can affect a students’ mental health, the role of an individual student’s habits in this cannot be neglected either.

College does give students their first taste of freedom and gives them more control over their lives. The newly gained independence can be a double-edged sword. For example, while being able to eat whatever you feel like whenever you feel like does sound like an appetizing idea, students often fail to maintain wholesome, nutritious diets when living by themselves. 

Being able to go to any party you like at any hour may seem liberating, but many students fail to maintain a healthy balance between social life and academics. 

Waiting to finish writing a paper or postponing studying until the last minute may free up some time in the near future, which could be fun, but the stress and anxiety that one inflicts on oneself because of this may become severely detrimental over time.

When one goes to sleep and when one wakes up is left to personal whims and mercy of one’s class schedule. At the same time, most students are sleep deprived due to overload of activities and mismanagement of time. Too much sleep or barely any causes students to miss out on key events in their day-to-day student life.

All of these factors may seem like a small lapse in habits, but they should not be neglected. The effect they have on an individual’s mental health can be far-reaching. Studies have well established the link between proper diet, social relations, sleep cycle and mental health. Unfortunately, it is common among students to ignore these day-to-day lapses and push through.

Students may or may not be able to catch on to the symptoms of the problems. The ones who ignore a sound lifestyle, make themselves vulnerable to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. And though mugging up and pushing through might be a good short term strategy, in the long run, you need to have you head and body in the game.

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