Living with a mental health disorder means dealing with your symptoms while also managing the responsibilities in your daily life. In some cases, you may be adding more responsibilities and taking on a monumental task, like going to college. While this may exacerbate symptoms of certain mental illnesses like anxiety as additional responsibilities may cause stress or attending in-person classes may trigger social anxiety, severe anxiety doesn’t have to put an end to your education plan. If you deal with severe anxiety, here are some tips on going to college while coping with your mental health disorder.
Speak with a school counselor to create a plan of action that works for you.
If you have a generalized anxiety disorder, one of the best ways to make the college admissions process and subsequent classes you take easier to manage is by working with a college counselor. A college admissions counselor has years of experience working with seniors coming out of high school and going straight into the college application process. By making counseling appointments and going through a live chat with them, you can better understand what the admissions process entails, get help with essential aspects of admissions like essay editing and financial aid planning, and find the right college for you. Although pursuing higher education at top universities can seem like a daunting task, working with a college counseling center can help you create a comprehensive plan for future success.
If, on the other hand, you have social anxiety, counseling may also help you identify certain programs that are the best fit for your needs. Besides being able to make an appointment with your counselor via Zoom, you can also ask them about how to best reach your academic goals and achieve academic success through online courses. While there are many advantages to online courses, those with social anxiety benefit most as they can go through the college process from almost anywhere in the United States without having to deal with the in-person setting that other young adults will be managing. No matter the situation, there’s always a solution.
Make therapy a priority as you move forward in life.
College can be an exciting new chapter in your life. However, with tasks like getting your transcripts, dealing with the admissions office, figuring out whether you want an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s, and coming up with ways to pay for college, your personal issues may only grow as you take on more responsibility and tasks. The most crucial thing to do when juggling college with life and mental health issues is to get mental health counseling, such as that offered by CharlieHealth.com.
Individual therapy is always just one phone call away, and it can help you better understand your anxiety while coming up with coping mechanisms and treatment plans that help you deal with your symptoms. Personal counseling can also help you work through some of the life issues you’re experiencing that are triggering your symptoms. Whether it’s relationship issues, work and school, or just a feeling of overwhelm caused by social activities, mental health services are essential to working through the process of healing and improving your mental and physical wellbeing. As long as you can access counseling services through phone appointments or nearby counseling centers, it’s important for your health that you do.
Practice better self-care, even during times of stress.
College culture often comes riddled with misconceptions that college students will be staying up all night, maintaining a poor diet, and engaging in other bad habits. The truth? While your schedule may be packed, you’re ultimately in control of the habits you engage in. Besides going to counseling and getting the appropriate treatment, you can also manage your high levels of stress and anxiety by practicing better self-care. You can do this by finding activities you enjoy (meditation, sculpting, finger painting), eating healthy foods and exercising to boost your physical health, and turning to relaxation exercises like deep breathing. When it comes to anxiety, you’re often more in control than you think.
College can be stressful, but that doesn’t mean that it’s inaccessible to those with severe anxiety. If your anxiety is getting in the way of your college goals, use the tips above to navigate the admissions process and beyond as you work towards your ideal career path and future.