Mental Health Awareness: A Student Perspective

Mental health spelled with scrabble letters
Angel Garcia standing in the snow

This piece was written by communication intern Angel Garcia. Angel Garcia will graduate from BC and transfer out to a 4 year university where he will continue his education and get my Masters in Sociology. His goal for the future is to work along side social services to be a resource for children and families who need stable homes. He loves to soak in as much information he can get, help people as much as he can, and read too much Stephen King books! 

As a college student, we deal with a variety of issues that impact our mental health. There’s the stress of doing good in our courses, coping with stress from work, and dealing with issues that arise in our personal lives. According to the Mayo Clinic Health System, “up to 44% of college students reported having symptoms of depression and anxiety.”

Stress, depression, social anxiety, and anxiety in general are common types of mental health issues that are a burden for students.

When we are affected by mental health issues, we suffer from mood swings, overthinking, behavior issues… all of which have an impact on our personal lives.

So how exactly do we deal with these issues?

I thought I’d give a few steps that have helped me. Hopefully these steps will provide a guide that can be shared with students to offer support for those in need or a starting point to helping a student in distress. 

The first step would be to acknowledge that you don’t have to be alone in your thoughts.

Connect with a friend and surround yourself with good people! Having strong family or social connections help maintain a healthy support network. I’ve done my fair share of thinking no one really is on my side, but I’ve learned that I need to talk to my friends which has helped me a lot when I’m going through a bout of depression. Just understand that these are the people that will be on your end of the metaphorical boxing ring cheering you on!

Another step would be to learn how to deal with your stress. Sometimes I let the stress of balancing school and personal life get to me. I never knew how to clear my head on days when I feel overwhelmed. It wasn’t until I was walking the trail at the Bluffs when I realized… this is it, walking had cleared those negative thoughts from my head. Now I like to put my favorite music on, look at the nature around me and admire the beauty of the world that I live in as I go for a stroll. On lazy days, I’ll do my second favorite stress relieving activity and play a fun video game *cough* Mario Kart *cough*.

Also, the campus has a variety of programs that can help you cope with your mental health struggle. Bakersfield College offers mental health group sessions. These sessions are phenomenal with helping to maintain a healthy mind. A variety of sessions offered can help you deal with stress management, anxiety, depression, and there are also sessions offered for suicide education. It’s always a beautiful experience to see that you’re around people who are familiar with what you’re experiencing. They understand you and offer no judgment. To learn more about the services at Bakersfield College, visit Student Health Services.

It’s important to find healthy ways to cope with any of the struggles that arise as you continue to live your life. At first, the battle may feel like it’s one lost. 

DON’T GIVE UP. 

In time the fight gets easier. On days when you’re feeling down, you’ll know how to snuff out the negative thoughts and continue to live your best life without the shadow of the mental disorder bringing you down! 

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