McDaniel students face increased mental health needs

Some students cite a heavy workload as one of their biggest stressors (photo courtesy of Nicholas Raumann)

In today’s world, students have many different issues they are stressing about, causing their mental health to worsen. According to interviews with students around campus, students at McDaniel College are no different. They are dealing with loads of stress in this still unprecedented time.

The normal stressors of a college student are very prevalent today – loads of schoolwork, huge exams and much more are affecting McDaniel College students, causing students to lose sleep, have less free time and constantly worry about grades.

 “My workload from school, social relationships, time management, future education or career” are all stressors freshman Anders Madsen stated deals with while on campus.

“My biggest stressors are exams,” junior Collin Shriner stated, “I tend to obsess over them until the test day.”

Now that everyone is closing in on finals week, many people will likely feel even greater stress. Students will have to complete final exams and large projects, while also trying to maintain good mental health. For most students, this is the first time they have felt the pressures of in-person test taking in a long time. 

 “Getting back on campus after COVID had been hard for me,” senior Steve Porembski stated, “I took a gap year because COVID, and now I need to adjust again.”

 After a year of nothing being normal, some students on campus are experiencing life like they never have before. First-year students must adjust to college life for the first time, and second-year students are re-adjusting to a more normal college lifestyle. The upperclassman must readjust back to the way it was before COVID-19.

“Mental health is directly correlated to one’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions,” Heidi Huber, the Wellness Center Director  said. “Therefore, a healthy mental and emotional state can lead to healthier relationships, better physical health, better quality of life, and promote improved academic and work performance.”

Due to the importance of mental health and these odd times full of stress, students are looking for ways to deal with stress. Many students will find their own ways to help their mental health.

“Strategies that can be very beneficial are maintaining a journal, tracking your mood, getting enough sleep, moving your body, eating well, staying connected with others, setting realistic goals, practicing self-compassion, mindfulness, taking breaks to reset, and reaching out if your need support,” according to Huber.

“I have tried to use tutors to help alleviate this stress with varying success,” said Shriner. 

“I deal with it through distractions like YouTube. I also speak to my girlfriend about stress. I’ll also spend time thinking critically about my stress,” Madsen stated.

Students can find on-campus resources to help, many will turn to the McDaniel College Wellness Center.

“I go to weekly counseling appointments at the Wellness center,”  Madsen added.

The Wellness Center gives students the opportunity to seek counseling almost whenever they need it, and about whatever they need it for. The Wellness Center offers many different counselors from different backgrounds, and who use different strategies, so students can find the right fit for them.

“Partnering with a counselor can be beneficial for a student in many different ways,” Huber stated.

Huber explained, “Students can gain new perspectives on their current struggles, receive support in navigating significant life choices, gain the ability to discuss and process uncomfortable experiences… learn healthier ways to express oneself and communicate with others in order to have more fulfilling relationships, develop and practice coping skills that actually work for them as an individual, create movement towards self-identified goals, improve physical health and overall wellbeing.”