Prioritizing Mental Health for College-Bound Students

We might inevitably find ourselves stressed and overwhelmed at many points in college. Even before college, students know what it feels like to be stressed. It is up to us to be our own biggest advocates. It can be scary to stand up for what we need, especially as students. However, speaking up for what we need to succeed, especially in the classroom, is the only way we will thrive in college.

College is a time of many firsts, many of which can be daunting and leave us feeling very overwhelmed. It is often that students overthink and ignore the need to speak up. We need to remember that advocating for ourselves is the number one thing to keep in mind if we mean we will succeed.

Of course, we can do something to try and enter college feeling our best, but we need to know that it is okay to ask for help when we need it. There are things that I have found beneficial when trying to prioritize my own mental health before going to college.

These include:

  • Drinking water
  • Maintaining a well-balanced diet
  • Exercising often
  • Getting outside and connecting with nature
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Finding a supportive community
  • Budgeting time well
  • Giving myself days off

By prioritizing these things and staying true to what I knew made me feel my best, I could keep my mental health in check before going to college.

Stand Up for Your Well-Being

By recognizing the importance of prioritizing good mental health before going to college, it becomes easier to maintain a good routine of self-advocacy in college. We must catch ourselves in moments of stress before they become too overwhelming. It is much easier to prevent burnout rather than try and pull ourselves out of it. We must recognize feelings of exhaustion and hopelessness before they escalate. We need to be okay with asking for help when we feel the need. We also must remember that asking for help is necessary, and we should never feel ashamed of the need to do so.

The idea of advocating for ourselves can be daunting, but we must remember that expressing our needs is shameless. We are the only ones who genuinely care about our own success, and only we can put in the work. There are people around who can offer support and encourage us to reach our goals, but they can’t do it for us. So understanding what it is that we need to achieve is crucial.

College is one of those times when we have to be selfish from time to time. We must remember that we are here to grow, learn, and experience things we never have before. There will be times of confusion, defeat, and hopelessness, but also times of great success, happiness, and peace. We must recognize and stay true to what we need to be the best versions of ourselves.

Your years in college will go by in the blink of an eye. It’s something often said, but you won’t truly understand until it’s your time to walk across that commencement stage. Recognizing what it is that makes you happy and what it is that you need to be successful is all that we need to focus on.

At the end of the day, we have ourselves, so the sooner we realize the importance of prioritizing our needs, the better off we will be. We must not be afraid to advocate for ourselves and ask for help when needed.


Mira Camunez is a returning Marketing Intern at GradGuard. She’s a Junior studying Business Management at Barrett, The Honors College, at Arizona State University.