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By: Mariah Briones, Her Campus at Texas PB Senior Editor

Growing up, I never really understood what it means to take care of your mental health. I think it has to do 100% with how I was raised. I guess you could say I grew up with the basic American lifestyle. Both mom and dad, 1 sibling, sports, school, theatre plays, dance, cheer, church on Sundays, and mom for PTA President. Ohhh how she just loved to be involved! Because of the blessing to be able to have a strong family support system, caring parents, and the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, it would have appeared from an outsider’s perspective that there would be no need to complain or feel unhappy. Well, I’m here to confirm that their assumptions were wrong. 

As I got older and began my coming of age years, thanks to my mom, I started to inherit the idea of being so involved. I began taking on multiple responsibilities on top of taking my dual credit classes. I noticed myself falling behind in classes, extremely tired, and not wanting to participate in my lifelong sport anymore. That’s when I first became aware of mental health, however, I didn’t think anything of it. I told myself that there’s no reason to feel this way when other people have it worse. There’s no need to have a feeling of just being done when I’m dealing with much less stressful things compared to others. I remember telling myself that it’s ridiculous for me to even think about seeing a counselor or therapist to address my feeling of overwhelming emptiness because I was always taught that I could handle anything! Years with this mentality have dug an even bigger hole in the weight of my unhealthy relationship with mental health. 

Fast forward to my senior year of college, after much experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is okay to not be okay. My best advice to give if you’re struggling to accept you can’t handle everything on your own is to understand that it is okay to ask for help. What really shifted my mentality was to think about it this way: if your friend were to tell you exactly how you feel, and they ask you for help, would you help them? I know I would. And that’s what led me to the understanding that I cannot juggle everything that I think I can. It’s okay to say no to your friends or plans if they interfere with your mental health. It’s important to put your own self first, because if you think about it, you won’t be at your 100% if you’re lacking sleep, high in stress, and feeling overwhelmed. If you take one thing away from this blog, just remember that it is okay to ask for help, and it is okay to say no. 

Hi, My name is Melissa Gonzalez, and I am currently a Senior this year! I am a Business Management Major! I am also this year Her Campus Correspondent and Social Media Director for UTPB Student Money Management Association. I love all things girly, pink, and trendy! I enjoy being around others and learning new things. I'm so excited to be a part of being an amazing uplifting women community at UTPB!
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