Recently there has been an uptake on interest and stories about mental health problems in students. Mental health is the ability to properly adjust emotions and behaviors to current situations. Students are experiencing identity crisis, problems adapting to a new environment, and pressure due to studies. All this can trigger mental illnesses such as (mild) depression, burnouts, anxiety attacks. Recognizing that you are on a slippery slope to mental instability and turning it around is crucial for your academic, professional, and personal success.
According to a report from the American Mental Health Association, 64 % of students who are not attending college anymore mention mental health as a reason for dropping out. Students say that depression and anxiety are the top reasons for their underperformance.
Keeping an eye on your mental well-being is important. An anxiety attack will make you unable to finish your presentation, and depression suck out all the motivation you have to pick up your books. If you catch yourself staring at your computer screen or book for an hour without reading or writing a word, reach out for help or talk with someone.
One stigma around mental health is that it is a sign of weakness. But, listen to these stats: 25 % fo young adults (aged 18 – 24) have a mental health issue, and 75 % of lifetime cases begin by age 24. Having a mental health issue isn’t uncommon. It might not be popular but you are going to do nobody a favor if you deny it. Least of all you.
There are a couple of steps you can do to remain in good emotional shape:
While studying abroad is a great experience, it also carries certain mental risks. If you are already diagnosed with a mental illness, or think that you might have one, do not shy away from going abroad. Just go prepared. You need to discuss your plan with your counselor, or seek one if you haven’t yet done so. Going abroad is dangerous because you are leaving your familiar environment, with your known support network, and you might not be able to speak the language. You are entering uncharted waters which will require from you extra diligence and effort in getting familiar. For example, consider the little things: Will you be able to buy your favorite food ? How long do stores stay open? These little changes can add up. When I went abroad to the US, I was so happy to find a familiar grocery store (ALDI) that I gladly did the long journey just to have some familiarity.
If you want to go abroad these are the steps you should taken:
If you have to remember one thing about this article, remember this: HALT – don’t get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. This will reduce triggering mental health issues. Now, head over to EDUopinions and pick a country you are familiar with to check out universities.