A Letter to College Students

This semester has been hard. “Hard” is an understatement. It’s been one of the most difficult semesters I’ve had throughout my college career. Weirdly enough, it has also been one of the best ones I’ve had yet. I’ve experienced this strange combination of hopefulness and utter defeat. I think it’s a mixture of having the expectation to pump out work as usual, and on the opposite end of that, I’ve been presented so many amazing opportunities in doing so.

 

I wanted to write an honest account of what this semester has been like, because I know I’m not the only one that has been struggling. I’ve been distracted, and upset with myself because I haven’t maintained the same level of productivity as I have in previous semesters. I know I shouldn’t be upset though. The last few semesters since the pandemic started have been tough. The mental health of everyone, including college-aged students, has mostly been on the decline. In a study conducted in 2020, out of 195 college student participants, 138 of them stated that the stress and anxiety they faced increased during the pandemic. This was 71% of that sample. Only 18 students indicated that their stress and anxiety decreased (Hegde, 2020)

 

The main takeaway from this is, the majority of us are stressed and anxious! If you’ve been feeling like you cannot cope with the things going on around you, you are not alone. It’s okay to ask professors for potential extensions, in the name of your mental health, because ultimately, it’s just as important as your physical health. Of course, with it being close to the end of the semester, some extensions aren’t going to be possible. But keep in mind for the upcoming semester that you have the opportunity to speak with your professors, and be transparent about how you’re feeling.

 

You know your body and your limits better than anyone. Listen to what it’s telling you, and give yourself a break.

 

Citation:

Son, C., Hegde, S., Smith, A., Wang, X., & Sasangohar, F. (2020). Effects of COVID-19 on college students’ mental health in the United States: Interview survey study. Journal of medical internet research, 22(9), e21279.