Written by QCMHA Events & Partnerships Coordinator, Jordan Deep
Our time is university is supposed to be the best time of our lives. It’s where we meet lifelong friends, create lasting memories, and learn independence. While this description of the life as a Queen’s student may seem amazing, it can actually be quite deceiving. Although university can be the best time of a person’s life, it also requires a huge amount of balance to be able to handle everything that’s being thrown at you, in order to maintain a strong mental wellbeing.
Throughout first year, I definitely had my ups and downs. The highs were extremely high – meeting some of my best friends, getting involved in my program, and finally experiencing the famous Queen’s social atmosphere I had been anticipating for years. However, the lows were also very low, and I found my mental health in less-than-ideal conditions for certain stretches.
It's crucial, as we make our transitions back to school this year, to try to find a balance
that works for us. Personally, I will experiment with how much time and energy I spend on schoolwork, extracurricular work, working out, going out at night, hanging out with friends, and talking to family. Not to mention, I am moving into a house that I will need to maintain in addition to cooking my own meals. These are all things that – if not balanced properly – could lead to being overwhelmed which could spiral into more severe mental health issues. To be mentally strong I need to be aware of these
pressures and be proactive about balancing all of the weights on my shoulders. This proactivity needs to be reflected in my daily decisions. For example, if I notice I am not finding enough time to focus well academically, I should lower the time and energy I spend going out at night. Notice how I said “lower” and not “eliminate”; the whole point of balance is to still dedicate time to the things you enjoy in life, which is crucial for staying mentally healthy. Being able to stay productive while enjoying the beauty of life is an extremely important life skill, and should never be overlooked.
The reality is, whether a person wants to accept it or not, University life is not easy by any means. You face roadblocks, obstacles, and barriers all at the same time, and without the proper navigation, you can find yourself lost with no apparent way back. The key is to try to recognize what you need to navigate these times, and that can different for everybody. However, the one thing that’s common between us all is that none of us can navigate tough roads alone. If you find yourself struggling, always reach out to someone you trust, and you’ll find it becomes a whole lot easier.