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How to Maintain Positive Mental Health During Freshman Year: College Tips for Young Adults with Mental Health Issues

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Change can be a wonderful and scary thing. For those starting their first year of college, this has never been more true.

For some, change is an opportunity to propel themselves forward in a journey of self-discovery. For others, the stress and anxiety of being responsible for themselves and their success can be overwhelming.

As a way to counteract the negative effects of depression during the first year of college, a lot of students turn to drugs and alcohol, excessive partying, isolating behavior, and procrastination.

These behaviors do nothing to help students overcome their fears and anxieties during their first year of college and can lead to bigger problems down the road.

But this doesn’t have to be the case!

We have prepared a few ways for you to maintain positive mental health during freshman year so that you can be productive, social, and ready to take on new experiences that come your way!


One of the biggest stressors for freshman students is dealing with an entirely different type of workload in college. Regardless of your organizational skills or intellect, if you have stress or anxiety, completing work can be an overwhelming obstacle that can dig you deeper into a negative mental health state.

Implement the following techniques to create a study environment that is motivating and productive:

  • Study in places that are conducive to your style of learning
  • Break up tasks into smaller parts to avoid being overwhelmed
  • Set deadlines that you can keep
  • Backup your work on another device to avoid losing important work
  • Keep your computer in great working condition

Keeping yourself from getting overwhelmed by your workload is a perfect way to avoid the common mental health issues that so many go through in their freshman year of college.


Most people won’t tell anyone when their mental health is suffering. Whether it’s fear of embarrassment, the shame of feeling incapable, or the worry that it won’t change anything, the fact is that not talking to someone can isolate you in your feelings and cause your mental health to get even worse.

College campuses have a variety of facilities and services to help you on the road to creating a positive and motivating mental health state. Consider the following when your mental health has you spiraling through depression, fear, and anxiety that first year:

  • Communicate your needs to professors when it comes to assignments and tests
  • Find career and study resources that provide support for completing your goals
  • Ask questions so that you don’t have to assume the answers
  • Join social activities and clubs to relieve the feelings of isolation

Communicating that you have a problem is the first step in working to overcome mental health issues during your freshman year.


You can’t experience the wonderful opportunities available to you freshman year from the desk in your room. Unfortunately, when you find yourself stuck in a negative state of mental health, getting the courage to leave and explore can feel like an impossible endeavor.

These tips make it easier to pull yourself away from your fears and provide excellent relief from depression during freshman year:

  • Exercise to keep your body AND mind healthy. Get a bike, join a gym, engage in a physical hobby once a day
  • Give yourself a routine with small tasks to create stronger feelings of accomplishment in your day to day life
  • Avoid excessive drinking and partying. These can have adverse effects on sleep cycles, chemical responses, and sometimes do more to compound anxiety and depression than relieve them

Taking time to create a healthy routine that gets you out and about can do wonders for relieving the effects of depression during your freshman year.

The Takeaway

It is completely natural for freshman year students to go through some form of depression.

The process of overcoming depression and building strong mental health within yourself is a journey that requires time, patience, and a whole lot of trial and error.

If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.

Contact a Resource Specialist

Following the advice above is the first step to taking control of your mental health and getting the meaningful and memorable college experience you need to keep you moving forward in life. The experts from EssayTigers also prepared a handy infographics with even more advice on How to Survive Your Freshmen Year. Check it out below!

infographic on tips for college freshmen

Author Bio: Stacey Wonder is a freelance blogger from California. She usually writes on educational topics, career, self-development, and writing for EssayTigers. When not busy with her projects, Stacey creates detective stories.

The opinions and views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in this article or linked to herein.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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2 thoughts on “How to Maintain Positive Mental Health During Freshman Year: College Tips for Young Adults with Mental Health Issues

  1. Tiffany Locke says:

    Your advice to make sure you can talk to someone about your feelings in order to prevent your mental health from worsening is a good idea. In order to do this, you’d probably want to find a friend or family member who you’re comfortable communicating with. If you don’t have someone like this or if it’s not helping, it might help to find a local counselor who you’re comfortable with so you can discuss your feelings and situation as well as get their help in working through any problems.

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