I am enjoying my classes this semester and managing pretty well despite the increased workload on top of working full-time. I am excited that there is an end in sight, and I should be able to finish my master’s program by mid-August.
As hard as it has been, in some ways being an adult learner has its advantages, because I have a different perspective from this vantage point. I have made it through enough of life’s challenges such as balancing family and work, as well as some significant losses, to be able to fully appreciate this opportunity to continue to learn and grow.
Unlike my younger counterparts in college, I don’t have to deal with the same kinds of pressures they face. Being away from home for the first time, navigating relationships, trying to live up to academic and athletic expectations, and making decisions about alcohol, drugs, and sexual activities can be quite daunting for these young adults at times.
Being a young student can be an exciting and wonderful experience, and it can also be the source of a lot of additional stress, leading to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. It is so important for young people to know they have a place to turn when they experience emotional difficulties.
Finding the path – Where can college students go for help?
Active Minds is a wonderful organization that is making its presence known on college campuses in order to provide support to students who are struggling with a mental health issue. They are working hard to diminish the stigma associated with mental health issues by hosting campus-wide mental health awareness events and helping students to navigate where to find help when they need it.
I applaude their efforts and wish there would have been something like that when I was an 18-year-old attempting to go to college for the first time. I could have used someone to help me find resources to deal with my anxiety and eating disorder during their early phases.
I don’t have any regrets now but I am a firm believer that the earlier one receives help for any type of mental illness, the better the outcome and less negative impact it will have on that person’s life.
Active Minds supports the goal to make it as easy to access mental health care as it is to access care for physical illnesses, by eliminating the obstacles like stigma and lack of resources that prevent people from seeking help.