As a freshman attending school during a pandemic, Life has been challenging. Physically, I have been pretty ok, but mentally, I feel very, very drained.

I was stressed about my homework, grades, family, financial status, quizzes/tests, and many other things. I started noticing that I was stressing over little things and was being harsh with myself. I noticed myself dreading everyday tasks such as going to the grocery store, walking my dog, taking a shower, or brushing my teeth. It may not seem like a lot, but for me it was.

I was someone who used to be very organized, and really praised myself for myself care routines. But I noticed I was losing all of that structure and routine and was falling down in this sinking hole. It got to the point that I would wake up in the middle of the night, feeling stressed over literally nothing. At that point, I knew something needed to change. At first, I really didn't know what to do as I had never had anything like this happen to me. I didn't know who I should tell and how I should tell them. I didn't want to unnecessarily stress someone else, but deep down I knew I needed help.

I started by having an open conversation with my family. I explained to them the feeling I was having, and they helped me understand everything. They helped make me feel like my experience wasn't just all up in my head but was something that they themselves were seeing. They, themselves, had decided to come and talk to me soon if I hadn't come to them as they were worried about me. After reaching out to my family, I reached out to my teachers, and friends telling them what I was going through. My teachers were very considerate and really helped me out. They understood that the transition from high school to college is something that isn't easy for some people. After that conversation, I ended up making a schedule that helped reduce my unnecessary stress down drastically.

My friends were also very helpful. They were like the icing on top of the cake. They would spend time with me and help me forget about everything that would be stressing me out. One downside I can think about is that I was unable to physically meet my friends as I have a family member who falls in the high-risk category fro COVID and I needed to be very careful. I wanted to share this story because I know for a fact that I am not the only one who has felt this way.

I personally thought that I was a coward if I needed to reach out for help. This is absolutely not true. I want other students to realize that reaching out for help is not a cowardly move; rather, it is an action that takes a lot of courage to make. I want students to know that taking care of their mental health, along with their physical health, is really important.

Many students ignore their mental health when they are in college. This is a very big mistake. Our mind tires out much faster than our body does. Another thing that is very helpful is having a schedule or routine. Having a schedule or routine helps you more organized and helps you stay on track. Another thing students need to be informed about is having a support system. A support system could literally just be your parents, friends, or your teachers. Basically, have someone that you can talk to when you feel like you are in a unstable state. And finally, always have trust in yourself. YOU can do it.