top of page

Balancing Books and Well-Being: Prioritizing Mental Health in College

College is a whole new beginning in the real world. You’re an adult with big responsibilities. You move away from home, live with a new roomate, take on larger workloads, have peer pressure, and you’re finding yourself. Some students develop their first onset of mental illness in college, and some are already struggling.


I entered college while struggling with mental illness and came up with some tips that may help you thrive.



My tips:

  1. Make sure you are emotionally strong enough to start college. Before you start college, be sure you are stable enough to handle the big change in your lifestyle. Tell a parent or someone you trust to help you get into counseling and find a psychiatrist. Work hard at reaching recovery and stability. If you are unstable, a change could only deepen your illness.

  2. Start out slowly. Don’t take on a lot of classes right away. If possible, start out part time until you are sure you are strong enough to handle a heavy workload. Extra stress can heighten the symptoms of mental illness and worsen your illness. Don’t take on more than you can handle.

  3. Set up an appointment with a school counselor or a therapist outside of school. If you already have mental illness, it’s very important you continue your therapy. Colleges have counselors, and if you don’t feel comfortable with the ones at school, go to one off campus. If you start struggling with mental illness while in school, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

  4. Take care of yourself. College is a lot of work and requires different eating schedules and sleep schedules. Don’t skip meals, get plenty of sleep, and take time to rest when you need to. Mental illness affects you physically so it’s very important that you

  5. Tell your parents or guardians of your mental health struggles. You are out on your own, but that doesn’t mean your parents or guardians can’t help you. Make them aware of any feelings you are having such as depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. They can help you seek help or assist you in a plan to deal with your illness.

  6. Take a break from college if needed. If your illness only worsens in college and you find yourself unable to function, take a year or two off to get better. You can’t do your best at college if you are feeling your worst. It’s not a bad thing to take a break to take care of yourself. When your illness becomes easier to manage or you have reached recovery, return to college. Make sure you set a goal as to when you plan

  7. Build a support system. Make sure you have a number of friends or family members you can talk to or text when you are struggling. Become a part of support groups at


These are only a few tips that will help you deal with mental illness while you are in college. College is a new beginning and a start into adulthood; part of that is making sure your mental health is taken seriously. You can succeed in college with mental illness if you have a good support team, counseling, medication, and the proper help. Even adults need help with mental illness. This is not an illness you can handle alone. Passing your classes is not more important than taking care of your mental wellbeing. Put your health first.

13 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page