Students should prioritize their mental health

Written By Brooke Stephens, Opinions Editor

It’s the end of the semester, and I think we are all waiting for it to come to a close. If you are metaphorically skipping gleefully to the end of the semester: You have made it. If you are theoretically dragging your heels to the end of the semester: You have made it. If you are any place in between, I reassure you: You have made it. 


Now, if that seems like a soapbox beginning for any of the people reading this article today, I see where you are coming from. However, with recent self-reflection, comes the realization that I need to value my writing in order to communicate an articulate, succinct message. 


Now, have you had any water today? Have you eaten something that is more than candy, chips or toast? Have you been taking your medication? This may seem cheesy, but I find that we all need these reminders at the end of the fall semester, because there is not always someone there checking in on you. 


Which, yes, is part of being an independent adult, without a doubt. I also believe that there is another side to the “being a healthy independent adult” coin, which is to not be afraid to ask our community for help. This could be friends, family, romantic partners, or even Point Park University professors which offer office hours or their email to students. People should feel okay using the resources at hand, even if it is intimidating. 


Being an adult is scary, but being alone is scarier. To clarify, I am not saying you can never be alone and you must surround yourself with people all the time. That is equally as dangerous as completely isolating yourself from your peers. There should be a balance of how much time you are spending with yourself and how much you spend around colleagues. 


It is easy to get so distracted about what is happening in your life that you forget what your focus should be: you. Unless there is time made to meditate or whatever self-care looks like for you, then you will follow the endless cycle of burnout which is associated with getting a degree. 


As a sophomore student, I am slowly realizing how quickly faults of a perpetual, institutionalized system are becoming normalized. There is a quiet blanket of exhaustion falling on the campus right now, and I need the students to know that now is not the time to give up. We can do more to help each other be more successful in our projects, showcases, and professional goals. 


It is time to release the shame which comes with existing as a human being in 2022. As the great Kurt Cobain from Nirvana said, “Come as you are, as you were, as I want you to be.” If you are having trouble accepting yourself for who you are, recognize in your body that there are people who support you everyday. We are almost at the end of the semester, so I hope every person can find the courage to muscle through finals and truly celebrate the individual accomplishments they have made this semester. To every senior: I wish you the best of luck. I am sure you will thrive in this burning planet of ours.