Change is stressful for everyone, and college is the total embodiment of dramatic change.
You are moving out of the house you have lived in for years, leaving your friends and family behind, and going to a completely different place. There are new people, a brand new atmosphere, and studying the (probably)
single thing you’ll do for the rest of your life. This sounds like a mental breakdown waiting to happen. Now even if college is a strange concept in itself, nothing up to prepares you for the dramatic lifestyle switch you have to undergo. And up until this point, it might seem like you have nobody supporting your change, no one in your corner, and you begin to feel lost.
Common stressors like being late to dinner, or not doing an assignment on time, if not dealt with effectively, can all contribute to higher stress levels, lower life expectancy, higher levels of Alzheimer's, depression, and anxiety. Even big stressors like a huge project in a class, or getting rejected can have big long-term effects on one’s mental health. “A national survey of college students in 2020 found that nearly 40 percent experienced depression. One in three reported having had anxiety, and one in seven said they’d thought about suicide in the past year” (Sender).
With college students’ mental health on the decline, many colleges across the country are implementing a system of mental health therapy within their universities for students and faculty, including IU. IU Counseling and Psychological Services, CAPS, has begun taking health insurance for their programs meaning that any student can schedule an appointment under their branch of health care and be able to see a licensed therapist right on campus.
Mental health therapy is not something just for the mentally ill, more times than most, people seeking therapy are people just like you, stressed college students who don’t have anywhere else to turn. Even if you have the faintest curiosity of trying out counseling, I would say to give it a shot. The first two visits are free so you can begin to see if it will be effective. There are also only one-hour visits every couple of weeks, to fit into your schedule.
Your mental health is extremely important, especially because college students are some of the most susceptible to stress and anxiety, especially within the first year.
Aslanian, Sasha, and Alisa Roth. “Inside the College Mental Health Crisis.” Inside the College Mental Health Crisis | Under Pressure | APM Reports, APM Reports, 9 Oct. 2021, https://www.apmreports.org/episode/2021/08/19/under-pressure-the-college-mental-health-crisis.