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How To Go Through College And Stay Sane

How To Go Through College And Stay Sane

College can be a hard time. It’s when you are coming of age, preparing yourself to lead a life that is independent, unique, and challenging. I know how stressful these times are, and they are indeed very tough and very demanding. However, it does not have to be all black and white, and there are shades in between, as these struggles make all of us stronger.

Here is a list to help both you and me to stay sane, especially during times of distress and upheaval. College doesn’t have to be all that bad. Let us see what we can do to feel more in control.

1. Stay organized

Arrange your books in a way that goes by the day you need them. You won’t have class every day; you might have a class that meets an hour on Monday and Wednesday, or one that meets Tuesday only. If you don’t need a book that day, leave it at home, and don’t bring undue stress to yourself.

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2. Eat your meals

Eat your meals. Some college students can’t squeeze in time to eat. This is a no. You need your energy to stay focused and do your work. Others just skip for reasons unknown. The main point is to eat.

3. Never stay up late

You need sleep to function. After a few days you don’t sleep, you will be less attentive, and you will be distracted in class. You may catch yourself having less physical energy and indigestion. Don’t hurt yourself! Go to sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and charged to tackle the morning.

4. Don’t forget to shower

Shower. College students are so deprived of sleep and eating that they don’t even have time to shower. Remember to squeeze in time to keep your body clean. The more you keep yourself healthy – the better your body and mind will perform. A hot shower can release oxytocin, which is a feel-good hormone.

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5. Don’t go to class wearing clothes you’d wear at home

Many students go to class, and don’t change their clothes. You can see them in their pajamas, and that is just not right. You want to be professional and be taken seriously. This forms a habit. When you change your clothes, you’ll feel better and confidently stand in class.

6. It’s not all about class

Class is a medium through which you learn. You have the opportunity to learn material on your own too. If you feel down, you can view the professor’s posts online and catch up. Don’t fear. There are other things to do in life as well, and if things come up, it isn’t the end of the world. You can pass and even get an A. It’s pretty normal to see students skipping once in a while.

Don’t do it often because you still want to grasp the material. Don’t make this a habit, as you then might just stop going, and that is never a good thing. You are paying, so don’t waste your money and time. You can learn and enjoy!

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7. Be proud of all your accomplishments

Whatever grade you get, be proud of your hard work. Sometimes we won’t get that A we hoped for, or that B. You might get a C, but know that it’s college, and this is not an easy feat. It’s hard to get grades higher than a C – college level is C, so that means you are doing your work efficiently. If you find that you are slacking in a class, you always have the option to withdraw, or buck up and try harder to boost your grade.

Your grade is at your disposal, meaning you have it, and can access it any given time. You see where you stand and where improvements can happen.

Stress can be overwhelming. I’m one to talk. I talk but stress all the time. I get anxious at the smallest things. However, as I’m growing older, I am learning that stress isn’t good. It makes us less productive. So, let it settle, and do the best you can in college (and in life for that matter).

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Featured photo credit: Jeremy Bishop via unsplash.com

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Ramanpreet Kaur

Currently a student but don't know what direction to go in: Let us see if writing gets me anywhere :)

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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