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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SMU chapter.

We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of this pandemic, and I feel like it’s safe to say that it’s taken a toll on everyone’s mental well-being. I know that for me the isolation and increased online time has really had an impact. College has felt so different from what I’m used to – this was especially hard to deal with when I first arrived back on campus last fall. With less opportunities to go out and more time on my computer doing classes, my mental health considerably worsened. Being inside most of the day definitely made me feel isolated, even when I would be hanging out with friends. It took me a while, but at the end of last semester, I decided to start going to a therapist.

I’ve always felt that going to therapy was something important that I should do, but I put it off because I felt that I didn’t need it and didn’t have time. However, I’m such a social person and am used to going out on the weekends, so I really struggled with the shut-down. I started to feel like my prime college years were being ripped away from me. From talking to a lot of my friends, I’m sure this is a feeling that most of you are familiar with, too. After my first semester in the pandemic, my family and friends started suggesting that I go to therapy to work through some of these problems I was dealing with. It took me a while to agree to it, but now that I’ve been going for a few months, I’m so glad I decided to push past my fear and start going. 

One of the best things that going to therapy has done for me is help me work through the impacts of social isolation from the pandemic. My life basically consists of a lot more time chilling inside, and a lot less going out. It’s also been so weird not walking to all of my classes every day. My therapist has been someone great that I can talk to about this; it’s almost better than ranting to one of your friends about what’s going on in your life, because they try to get at the root of your problems. I’ve also learned some great strategies for still living my life the way I want to and getting the most out of my college experience while still being COVID safe. 

I also feel like going to therapy during this pandemic has helped me realize that everyone can benefit from it. There’s definitely a stigma surrounding therapy – a lot of my friends have said that they didn’t think it would help, or that they weren’t “bad” enough to go. But the reality is, everyone can benefit from it. It’s just as important to keep up with your mental health as it is your physical health. And now that we are living through such an unprecedented time, it’s totally normal that we would need a professional to help us work through it. If you’ve been struggling during this virus and have been contemplating talking to a therapist about it, I would definitely recommend it. It’s been helping me so much! 

Ruthie is a junior at SMU studying Psychology, Spanish, and Neuroscience. Born and raised in Texas, she loves to travel and enjoys reading, watching Netflix, and spending time with friends.
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