Concrete’s mental health campaign is now in full swing, and it’s enabled me to become increasingly aware of my own anxiety and mental health.
Something I’ve realised in the last week is that I’m guilty of putting too much pressure on myself. I believe that people rely on me to be perfect and get things done, when in reality this is an expectation I have placed upon myself. I’ve realised it’s okay to say no and push back – the world’s not going to end if you do.
I don’t think that this is a problem that only affects me. Since I’ve noticed this habit within myself, I’ve noticed that other students are worked up and anxious too. Perhaps it is just a stressful time of year – we are susceptible to stress, freshers’ flu and piling seminar preparation.
We need to give ourselves an emotional break. We are at a university, and that in itself is something to be proud of. We need to see our university experience as something to not only survive through, but something to thrive at.
Recently, I’ve thought about the concept of millennial burnout a lot, and I’m so glad that there is a term we can use to describe how we are feeling. Especially since I’m now in my third year, I am constantly having to balance extra curriculars, academic life and social life, in addition to applying for grad schemes and building up my CV. Almost every one of my peers is in the same position, but we all seem to suffer in silence.
Since Chris and I have been running Concrete’s mental health crisis campaign, I’m ever conscious to dissolve the stigma surrounding talking about mental health and I want to open up the conversation. I’m so please our campaign is gaining recognition (we even got retweeted by Stephen Fry!).
So yes, take every opportunity and seek new challenges – but equally, it’s okay if you have taken on too much and need to let some things slide. You come first. There is no shame in feeling things and being honest about it. In fact, being honest about your mental health and how you feel is commendable.