After move-in and convocation new students are finally getting settled in on Elon’s campus as the first week of classes starts. But for some news students such a big change and be jarring.
According to the American Psychological Association one third of college freshmen struggle with mental health. As part of Elon’s news strategic plan the university will focus on mental health and wellness.
Mark Eades, a counselor at the Ellington Center for Health and Wellness, says that the beginning of the year can we a stressful time for students.
“One of the things we bump against every single year when move-in happens is that, this is an exciting time. It's a great time to be coming and to start life at a university,” Eades said. “And there are so many changes happening in such a short period of time it can feel really overwhelming to make sense of it all.”
To help support students, counseling services offers workshops in meditation, yoga and painting to teach students mindfulness. They also offer individual and group therapy to all students as part of their regular services, and Eades says it’s never too early to seek help.
“When you start getting those feelings of I'm overwhelmed and I'm feeling certain things I don't know why, that could be a great time to say I'm just going to go to counseling to try to sort through this now, not that my life is out of control or anything like that,” Eades said.
But it’s not only mental health that freshman should be concerned about but physical health as well. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says there have been at least nine million cases of the flu reported each year since 2010.
Dr. Ginette Archinal says that sleep is one of the best ways to keep you from getting sick
“You come from an immune function point of view. You can't catch up on sleep. So if you get four hours a night five nights a week and then crash on the weekends you may feel like you've caught up in your sleep but your immune system hasn't caught up on its sleep,” Dr. Archinal said.
But Eades says that taking time for yourself is the best medicine.
“Anytime you make your own well-being and mental health a priority that can only be a good thing,” Eades said.
And Dr. Archinal agrees, even if that means just slowing down a little.
“Pace yourself breathe. Take time for yourself and don't think you have to do everything all at once,” Dr. Archinal said.
If a student is feeling stressed, overwhelmed or just like they could use some help, this year there will be a counselor on call 24/7. Students can call campus security at 336-278-5555 and ask for the on-call counselor.