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MLA Full: "Your Mental Health in College | How to College | Crash Course." YouTube, uploaded by CrashCourse, 16 June 2022,
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There is a lot of stress and anxiety around college, whether you're fresh out of high school or you've decided to go back to school years later. It can be tough to navigate. But, one of the best ways to navigate keeping yourself focused so you can succeed is by being aware of the pitfalls. This way, you can head into your college experience with open eyes and the knowledge of the places and people you can turn to for help.

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0:00 - Introduction
3:37 - Physical Health
5:19 - Mindfulness and Meditation
6:11 - Special Interest Groups
8:00 - Conclusion

Resources used in this video:
Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741-free 24/7 support via text)
National Suicide Prevention Hotline (free 24/7 support over the phone)

What Is Mental Health? |
Active Minds' Student Mental Health Survey - Active Minds:
Sleep problems in university students – an intervention (
How Long Should You Wait Between Caffeine and Bedtime? (
4 - 7 - 8 sleep - Arizona State University - updated 1-26-15 - YouTube:
Should You Take a Leave of Absence? | BestColleges:

Learn more about Federal Student Aid:

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#CrashCourse #HowtoCollege #StudyHall"
As you prepare to start or head back to college, you’ve probably heard at least one person say that it will be the best time of your life.

If movies and TV are anything to go by, college is packed with all-night parties, road trips, and Instagrammable sleepovers where you and your friends binge the entire new season of The Great British Baking Show in a night. But college isn’t just one long party, and it can be a challenge to look after your health.

This might be your first time living on your own, without your Mom around to constantly check your forehead for a temperature, just in case. This may be the first time your immune system has seen such young germs since you were a teen yourself. Or it could just be a new set of experiences to juggle –and that can be plenty stressful and overwhelming.

But the better you take care of yourself, the better you can balance self-care of your body and mind with the demands of school, work, family, and friends. Wherever you are in your college experience, it’s a great time to explore ways that you can keep your mental, emotional, and physical health in check and discover resources you can access for help. Hi, I’m Erica Brozovsky, and this is Crash

Course: How to College. a Study Hall series presented in partnership with Arizona State University. Today we’re talking about Protecting Your Mental Health. [INTRO MUSIC PLAYS] Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act, and also determines how we handle stress and everyday responsibilities. Whether this is our first time away from home or our third term back at college, it can be overwhelming.

We’ve gone from having structure in our life that’s imposed by someone or something else –our high school, our job, our family– and suddenly we’re in charge. Sure, we still have those responsibilities, but we’ve made the decision that among all those responsibilities, we’re putting college up at the top. Suddenly, we’re setting our own schedule and arranging life around classes and studying.

And while having the freedom to do that is awesome, wow, can it be overwhelming. In fact, research tells us that over 80% of students feel overwhelmed at some point in their college career. So if you find yourself feeling this way, you’re not alone!

In fact, you’re pretty much in the same boat as everyone else. And while we don’t want you underwhelmed either, being overwhelmed can lead to stress, headaches, anxiety, illness, and a bunch of other things we want to avoid. While there is no quick fix for any of this, there are some steps you can take to manage the health of both your body and mind.

We’ll cover some of the highlights today–some of the ones that are most accessible. And, we’re gonna start with the strategy you probably already hear a lot about: sleep. The relationship between college students and sleep is infamously on-again/off-again, am I right?!

You might wonder how you can possibly get more sleep given all of your responsibilities, but adequate sleep can actually help you be more productive. Poor sleep quality can make it difficult to think clearly, work effectively, and maintain a positive mood. Poor sleep can also impact your memory, focus, and immune system.

And that’s not what we want. Be mindful of where you sleep. With so much going on, you might find it easy to crash on the couch or even catch some Z’s on your desk or those fancy library armchairs.

Or, you might find yourself using your bed for everything from studying and eating to watching TV and scrolling through social media, But if possible, reserve your bed for unwinding and sleeping; reserve your workspace for…well, work. This way, you start to train good habits and your brain will associate “bed” with “rest” and “desk” with “work.” Once you separate your work area from your rest area, try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Limit screen time and avoid caffeine before you plan on hitting the sack.

That means coffee, but that also means soda, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate, since caffeine can be found in all of these, too. All these things can affect your brain and keep you from falling asleep. Sleep is important, and we’ve definitely got to make it a priority as much as we can since without it, our brains kinda start to malfunction -- which affects our mental health.

But when we’re not sleeping, we’ve also got to make sure our brains have enough energy to function, which makes nutrition another key way to protect your mental health. As college students -- and just busy people -- we’re often looking for two things: fast and cheap. And that might mean scavenging a lot of free pizza, quickly microwaving some ramen noodles, or just grabbing a coffee instead of stopping for lunch.

But if we let this become a habit and don’t also incorporate a variety of foods with a variety of different nutrients, we aren’t fueling our bodies to perform at their best. And this can lead to lower grades, getting sick more frequently, feeling tired and unmotivated, an inability to focus, and experiencing depression and anxiety. Healthy eating can mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people, so we’ve put some general references in the description.

And we get it—healthier eating doesn’t always go hand in hand with fast and cheap. If you can't afford nutritious meals and need help gaining access to these foods, check in with your school’s health and wellness center about available resources. Many colleges and universities address food insecurity —which is insufficient access to healthy foods— by establishing campus food pantries, developing partnerships with community kitchens, and enacting meal swipe programs, which enable students to purchase a meal in the dining hall using a meal card.

And, many schools allow students to apply for these food assistance programs anonymously. We all deserve to nourish our bodies. If your campus has a fitness or athletic center, consider making a stop there once or twice a week.

But before you start any new exercise program, you should always talk to your doctor about your baseline health and find out if they have any concerns. Ideally, you should take a friend with you to the gym. This person is there to keep you company, but you can also spot each other with weights and other challenging exercises.

This way, you run no chance of being the next viral video of someone face planting while stepping onto a treadmill. As for what you do at the gym, well, that depends on your interests! You can go old-school with weight training, hit the elliptical, take a class, or even use online options to help you craft an exercise routine.

There are apps for that, and you can also use social media to find trainers posting short routines for their followers. At first glance, it might seem odd to group physical health and meditation together. One is about training your body, and the other is about, well, training your mind.

But it’s actually pretty much the same process for both: just like a gym buddy is more likely to motivate you to work out, daily meditation is more likely to happen if you have the motivation of a friend. Mindfulness is about finding a practice that helps you be aware of your thoughts, feelings, surroundings, and body without judgment. Instead of focusing on our immediate stressors or beating ourselves up for a mistake, we just accept being in the now.

There are a lot of ways to practice mindfulness. And while it does work for many people, about 1 in 10 people find that they become depressed or experience more extreme responses. This is why we say that this isn’t something you should start alone.

Just like with the gym, you should clear it with your doctor and find a buddy to practice with. This way you have someone to talk to, and don’t have to wonder if your feelings are unusual. Pay attention to how you feel, and if things seem off or wrong, don’t be afraid to stop and get help.

Let’s be honest, college can be an emotional rollercoaster; you might feel excited, but you might also feel overwhelmed, lonely, or homesick. Gaining a sense of belonging takes time, but developing a support system can help. There are lots of ways to find your place in college, in fact, we have a whole episode about it!

And one of the main strategies we recommend is getting involved in campus activities and student life on and off campus. Like you can start building a support system by joining student clubs, special interest groups, sororities, fraternities, and other groups. These will hopefully be filled with students with similar interests or backgrounds who will help you feel like part of a community and like less of an outsider or homesick -- which are totally normal feelings.

I also want to be really clear that just because you’re an adult and in college, it’s okay to feel lost or sad, or like you don’t know what to do. You don’t have to have everything figured out. In fact, I’ll say it louder for the people in the back: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT.

What many college students don’t realize is that knowing when to ask for help and then following through on using helpful resources is actually a hallmark of becoming a productive adult. And there are resources out there for you. Like counseling services, which can help you address personal, academic, and career-related issues.

Common questions you can explore here include: How can I better handle stress? How do I get over feeling homesick? Which career path should I choose?

If a counselor determines that you would benefit from long-term counseling, they’ll likely give you a referral to a community counseling agency so that you can address more specific counseling needs on a regular basis. At the university level, counseling services are provided by licensed mental health professionals in individual or group settings. Individual counseling is best for students who feel more comfortable doing one-on-one sessions in a private setting.

Group counseling is recommended for students who would find it helpful to hear from other students with shared experiences. Victim services is a part of counseling services that caters to students who have been a victim of a crime; crisis services are available for students who need immediate help to overcome distress. If you’re feeling so overwhelmed, depressed, or afraid that you’re in danger of harming yourself or others, here are some numbers you can call immediately.

We’ve also put them in the description. There’s a lot we can do by ourselves to protect our mental health beyond the few tips we’ve mentioned here, and we encourage you to find what works for you. But no matter what, it’s important to remember that we don’t have to do everything on our own.

Ultimately, our mental health can have a “domino effect” on our overall health, so know there are lots of resources out there to help you keep up with your mental health in college, whether you’re having short term struggles or are dealing with something larger like anxiety or depression. Just one change in your mindset can impact your physical and emotional health positively or negatively –that’s why it’s so important to protect it! Maintaining your mental health isn’t about feeling good all the time; it’s about recognizing when you don’t feel good and what you can do to get the help you need.

So look out for yourself and look out for each other. Here at Crash Course, we believe the world needs you to keep being awesome. Thanks for watching this episode of Crash Course How to College.

This series is part of an expanded program called Study Hall. Crash Course has partnered with Arizona State University to launch Study Hall on its own channel. Check out where you’ll find more tips about navigating college, choosing a major, plus foundational courses connected to college credit courses that students struggle most with in their first 2 years.

We hope to see you over there!