By Saúl Berríos-Thomas | Layout Editor
It’s 2 a.m..
Suddenly your eyes open and you’re lying in a pool of sweat. The math goes through your mind, “How many hours of sleep will I get if I go to sleep right now?” You calculate the hours, but know that it’s impossible to be fully rested, even if you fall asleep right that second.
Surely most college students know this dreadful feeling. There’s a lot of stress involved in trying to manage a social life, family life and maybe even a part time job, all while working towards a degree. When the stress becomes overwhelming, it’s important to remember that there are things to do to keep you afloat.
Sometimes you can’t tell everyone about your crisis, because it might be too personal. According to an ABC News survey, 55 percent of college students said they felt suicidal at some point during their college career. Hopefully, it can remind you that you aren’t alone when you wake up to that drowning feeling at 2 a.m. There is a way to get through this without it having to come to such drastic measures Fortunately, there’s more than enough time to put the pieces back together, no matter how bad it gets.
One of the most difficult parts of a crisis can be standing up and admitting it before asking for help from someone you trust. Whatever the situation is taking it on alone is never a good idea. You need someone to talk to, someone who will help and possibly give you a new perspective.
Navigating a crisis requires knowing who you can count on to help you get through your difficult time. Some people are just naturally better at handling stressful situations and are more likely to be willing to help you through the whole ordeal.
“Fortunately, there’s more than enough time to
put the pieces back
together, no matter how bad it gets.”
It’s not easy to talk about something with which you’re struggling. One example is that moment when you have to tell mom and dad that you need money, but sometimes you have to do it. The key is to just admit that you need help. The consequences can sometimes escalate when you try to handle a situation on your own.
One thing about asking for help when it comes to your parents is knowing that it isn’t going to get worse by asking them. There is unconditional love between parents and their children, which means they will usually understand even if you made some sort of mistake.
For example, if you are feeling particularly lonely and don’t know where to turn, asking your parents can help. Whether you want to believe it or not, your folks probably have been through some crises of their own and might have some insight into how you can get through yours.
Obstacles certainly shouldn’t mark the end of your journey. Dealing with a crisis head-on can help you get past it so you can get back to the other things that are more important in your life.
One difficult lesson I learned is to be open with professors about troublesome situations which you are dealing with. Keeping them in the dark doesn’t give them the opportunity to work with you if you need to miss class. An open line of communication with your professors, and maybe even your academic advisors, is paramount to preventing a problem in one area of your life from affecting the rest.
A death or major sickness in your family can create a serious crisis. Money can always be the source of a crisis, especially for college students who often struggle financially to begin with. Relationships between you and your friends or you and your significant other can lead to significant trouble for the already-stressed out college student, as well.
Sometimes when a number of factors, big or small, build up over time, it can lead to a single smaller issue seem like a big crisis. For example, if you have a paper due the next day and you’re about $78 short on your rent for the month, then a misunderstood text message can lead to a personal crisis. In this case, it is important to decide which of these issues should take priority and how to deal with each one.
College can be stressful for so many reasons. Allowing a crisis to overcome your life is not going to make it any less stressful. If you deal with your problems right away, you can get back to cutting down the list of other things you need to be worried about.
No matter what your crisis is, knowing how to deal with it will certainly make it. The most important thing is to have someone to rely on in times of crisis. We are only college students, so there is a lot of time to put the pieces back together no matter how difficult it becomes.
Saúl Berríos-Thomas is a junior political science major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.