The importance of mental health when transitioning back into school

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As school starts up again next week, along with new jobs, challenges, and getting back into the routine, things can get stressful for everyone. Some people may be coming to university for the first time and trying to figure out a brand new educational experience along with living on their own. Others may be returning for their final year, and now have to worry about not only finishing their undergraduate degree on a high note, but also applying to graduate programs and trying to figure out their next step.

There’s a lot of stress that comes with school starting up, because before you know it, we’ll be approaching fall reading week and midterm exams, essays and so much more. It quickly piles up and we all have to remember to take care of ourselves.

Finding balance is important, not overworking yourself the first few weeks and getting burnt out, and on the flip side, not leaving all the work to be done right before the deadline. I think a lot of us struggle with finding time to do everything we want and need to do, and sometimes we end up just not doing any of it, because it’s all too stressful.

Awareness for mental health is a wheel that will never stop turning. We can never be perfect in making sure that our family and friends are okay, and it’s important to not only take care of ourselves, but also to check on those around us. Don’t just ask someone how they’re doing, take time to have a conversation with them about life, how they’re handling course loads and how they’re feeling about a new job.

We all seem to be able to preach the importance of mental health awareness, but I find we often fall through on our promises to keep promises to be better to those around us. It’s easy to get sucked into old ways of thinking so when others laugh and find it silly other people join the group.

The thing is, we all can choose what type of person we want to be to others — whether it’s friends, families, or just a person we sit next to in a seminar. There’s still so much value in being a good, kind person to other people. Though sometimes that value seems lost on a lot of people. It’s important to not get sucked in with the group who still treats it like a fake disease. We all handle stress a different way, and we all need different things to help us balance our lives and find ways to deal with being overworked. It can be hard for someone to wrap their head around the idea that not everyone can keep their stress inside and it will just eventually go away.

So, while school and work picks up again in September, and when things start to get stressful in October, and the workload seems impossibly large in November — remember to check on your strong friend, or check on that person who you’ve never heard say a word in a seminar. Most importantly, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Don’t spend every waking hour with your head in a book or sitting at a laptop trying to get every assignment done at once. Find time for yourself, to relax, to read a book that isn’t for a class, to go out shopping or to go for a walk, to see a movie. Everyone needs to have balance in their life and finding that balance is hard for a lot of us when it comes to the stress of university life.

 

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