Discussing Mental Health in the Christopher Newport Community

One CNU student argues why we should act as a community to help kick mental health issues to the curb.

As a third year student, I’ve learned a few things about college; it is long, it is tough and it is exhausting. But at the same time, it passes in the blink of an eye. It’s the time of your life. And it’s all going to be worth it.

The key to thriving in college is not avoiding mental breakdowns; it’s learning how to deal with mental breakdowns when they arise. You can save all the college hacks you find to your Pinterest board, but no matter how much you try to minimize stress, times of adversity are inevitable.

At some point, you will feel as though the water is rising over your head and you’re sinking to the bottom. But no matter how far you sink, there is always a lifeline to keep you from drowning.

As cliché as it sounds, you are never alone. In a community like CNU, there is always someone for you to go to.
Whether it is a friend, a professor, the counseling center or even a stranger, someone is always willing to lend a hand to keep you afloat.

It’s normal to be fearful in expressing what you’re going through. And it’s normal to want to bottle everything up and seal it all with a cork, whether it’s for fear of rejection, misunderstanding or troubling someone with your problems.

But I promise you, no one is intentionally going to make you feel like a burden for your struggles.

We all have our battles, and there is no shame in turning to others during moments where you feel alone or troubled.

Sometimes all we need is some comfort, some insight or even just someone to listen. And in many cases, those are things that we cannot offer to ourselves.
One of the most important things to bear in mind is that it is okay to not be okay.

As humans, we naturally want to give the illusion that we have it all together; we want to prove our physical and emotional strength and stability.

But believe me when I say that addressing the broken pieces does not make you weak; in order to be whole again you have to acknowledge what is missing or impaired, and do what it takes to bring you to peace with the pieces.

We cannot overcome obstacles that we choose to ignore. Facing what weakens you head on only contributes to your strength; it shows that you are willing and determined to rise above it.

I know that it’s overwhelming. It’s all overwhelming.

The classes that are too early, the classes that are too late, the endless nights in the library, the exams, the papers, choosing a major, deciding on a career, extracurriculars, health, friendships, relationships; no one will stand against you when you say that it’s all a challenge. No one will make you feel like you’re the only one struggling to keep a close grip on your sanity. We’re all doing college together.

We’re all striving every day to shape a future for ourselves. We all need support to drive us to our destinations. So reach out. Talk. Lean on people. It’s okay. And it’s okay to not be okay.

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