Students need to speak out about their stress

Being my third year in college, I have become accustomed to waking up every morning worried if there is enough time in the day for me to complete all of my tasks.

I used to believe that stress was something that just came with being a college student.

Being a full time student with a part time job as well as trying to maintain a social life seems typical at Cosumnes River College. I figured that the stress associated with everything wasn’t that big of a deal.

That was until I had my first but certainly not last anxiety attack.

My heart began beating rapidly, my palms became extremely sweaty and it became hard for me to breathe. I decided to speak out and ask for help.

That was when I was able to find the help that I needed and I learned that I am not the only one who has gone through this.

One in every four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have a diagnosable mental illness, which includes depression, anxiety, eating disorder and addictive behavior among students, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

John MacPhee, executive director of the Jed Foundation, which oversees an online resource center for students dealing with emotional issues, said “by far, depression and anxiety are the most prevalent mental health problems students confront.”

Brushing stress off as if it is something that will go away isn’t the type of life that I would recommend for any student to live. Stress is something that you deal with all your life, and the best way to fix something in your life is to be educated about it.

On our campus we have a health service center where nurses are there to help and educate students on how to relieve stress in their everyday lives.

I was able to speak with CRC’s Head Nurse Michelle Barkley and I brought up the possibility of having an event on the campus called Mental Health Awareness.

This would be a collection of stress-relieving events leading up to finals week, which are no doubt some of the most stressful weeks for a college student.

Some of the mental health awareness events that other schools have had for students were creative and fun for both staff and students preparing for finals week.

Humboldt State University hosted a puppy therapy de-stress session during midterms and finals to relieve stress from the students’ last year at their campus.

Dalton State College in Georgia had a “No Stress Zone” where students could escape from their responsibilities for a moment and enjoy simple activities such as creating models with Play-Doh.

Students at CRC can benefit from similar experiences.

The campus is planning on hosting mental health awareness events to educate students about stress and help relieve them of it, but I believe that even more change is needed.

Students should not have to wait hours before being able to talk to a counselor, and the counseling resource on the school website never seems to work.

In order to make a change on this campus it is up to both the students and the school.

The students need to speak up about what they want to see changed on the campus and the school needs to listen to their requests.

That is the only way that anything will ever get done.

So speak up students, because the staff members are ready to make this change.

“We are striving to be the best that we can and with the feedback of the students I know that we can do that,” Barkley said.