College is meant to be the gateway to success and life-changing experiences. Undergraduates attending four-year institutions undergo a lot of stress and discouragement, as well as two-year undergrads. With the workload and commitment to maintain a social life, how can four years of college affect your brain health?
Undergraduate students are expected to maintain outstanding GPA’s, apply for internships, shift away from being dependent, and plan out their entire lives after college. College can either make you or break you. With the intensive pressure, college students engage in the intake of substance use/abuse as well as experiencing anxiety, and depression. Studies have implied that the human brain does not fully develop until the age of 26.
The Massachusetts General Hospital stated that “50% – 60% of college students have a psychiatric disorder.” When a student enters college, as a freshman, a lot of pressure is instilled. They’re responsible for building their class schedules, encouraged to make new friends, adapt to their surroundings, purchase course books, a meal plan, etc. To reduce the stress, numerous colleges are required to provide online screenings for their incoming class to help them depict the different challenges and be more aware of certain psychiatric issues. College students are urged to join clubs, partake in extracurricular activities, and maintain a healthy diet aside from being overwhelmed with academic work.
College can be an unforgettable experience or strictly dreadful and daunting. To attain a healthy brain, you must place yourself in a comforting and vigorous environment with people who challenge you do your best, not your worst. Major factors that undergraduates fail to imply are exercising, healthy eating, and adequate sleep. Exercise increases blood flow and produces new brain cells as well as a good night sleep.
The Harvard Health Publications of Harvard Medical School explained “when someone experiences a stressful event, the amygdala, an area that contributes to emotional processing of the brain, sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus.” This area of brain functions as a “command center,” allowing communication of the body through the nervous system producing energy to strengthen or weaken you.
It is inevitable that college brings stress, but it is up to you to handle it properly or ignore the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle. How you manage your time and workload reflects on your physical and mental health.
Mental health formulates stability. Millennials are proven to be more vulnerable to stress and hold on to negativity that provokes them to act unconsciously.
If you’re interested in enhancing your knowledge on mental health and practicing a healthy lifestyle visit https://www.mentalhealth.gov.