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Navigating Mental Health

This pandemic has been tough for all of us. With the loss of our old way of life and so much uncertainty surrounding when we will go back to normal, a lot of people have started to struggle more with mental health, including me. With doing classes online, staying safe with COVID, and spending so much time in my room, I felt the weight of anxiety increase throughout the last couple of months. And though it has at times been tough, I feel I have been able to navigate through College and mental health with help along the way.

 One of the things that has helped me with my mental health has been starting counseling. Though I have done counseling through a service back home, Dartmouth does have counselors through Dick's House, our college health service, whom I have utilized. It is nice to be able to have someone to talk to to help work out my feelings and to be able to be encouraged.


Dartmouth friendships helps with mental health
Friendships, such as those with my fraternity brothers, help me with my mental health journey!
    However, I think one of the biggest tools that I have utilized in order to improve mental health has been the community on campus. With classes, there have been one or two times in which I have asked for an extension for a paper or asked to remain absent for a class in order to focus on my mental health for the day. Professors have always been very supportive of me, sometimes giving me advice from their own mental health journey, or just giving me encouragement that I belong at Dartmouth and that I could get through this stump.

Me and Zoey the Cat!
I have met two alumni of the College who live off campus, and their home--as well as their cat--have provided a source of comfort during my Dartmouth career!
Another source of help has been the friends I have made here. I have noticed that people at Dartmouth are very helping in regards to mental health, being very open to having discussions with me if I am just frustrated or anxious about something. Not only that, but friends I have made in the Upper Valley, such as my local pastor and some alumni of the College, have provided an outlet for me when college life becomes too hectic and I need to step away for an evening.  Navigating college life, mental health, racial unrest, political unrest, and a pandemic can be hard. However, I am glad that the people at Dartmouth and the Upper Valley can help me get through these sometimes difficult months!

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