Charlie Brown says that Christmas time is here, but for university students, so is finals season. It may be time for happiness and cheer, but it’s also a period when major stressors and seasonal affective disorders arise.
Over the past several years, the conversation surrounding mental health has expanded. What used to be called laziness and low motivation is now recognized as symptoms of a larger treatable issue.
Approximately 9.5% of adults 18 and over suffer from depressive illnesses, but during the 2020-2021 school year more than 60% of college students met the benchmarks for at least one mental health issue. The stress of finals only increases that number.
Universities across the United States are looking for new approaches to address student stress levels and their ability to support them during the season. Bradley has begun to recognize the importance of mental health in student success and offer support.
“Bradley recognizes and values all students and wants them all to be successful, and we realize that good mental health is part of that process,” Director of Counseling Deborah Montgomery-Coon said.
During finals season especially, students are putting their mental health first. Counseling is available on campus throughout the year at Health Services. All students can book a limited number of free appointments with licensed counselors.
Unfortunately, not all professors are as proactive in mental health as their students are during finals season.
“There are a specific few professors that if I were to come to them to talk to them about how I am doing, like if I’m doing bad, then they would all be very supportive … But there are some professors that I think if I went to them with mental health concerns, I don’t think they would understand,” freshman sociology major Annaliese Wettstein said.
Students have taken it upon themselves to find coping skills when studying gets rough.
“Either taking a break from studying and just going out and working out at Markin at the gym and then doing walks or just being on TikTok or on my phone just watching a movie or TV show just to distract myself,” sophomore English high school education major Rachel Hobbs said.
Finals season is stressful, but using resources around campus can help keep stress levels down and grades high.