Student Stories

Stress Less this April, and Beyond

The culture on a university campus is one that normally prioritizes grades, socializing, sports, and greek life above mental health breaks. It can be stressful. As an undergraduate, it was not uncommon to hear one of my friends say every day, “I am overwhelmed.” Many students struggle to balance their school responsibilities and their social…

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Charging On with V-A-R at the University of Central Florida

As a student at the University of Central Florida, making an impact on student mental health has been something I’m passionate about due to my experience supporting close friends and their mental wellbeing. A common phrase we hear as University of Central Florida Knights is to “Armor up, and charge on!” When I think of…

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The Harms of Canceling Spring Break

According to the College Crisis Initiative, 59% of universities in the United States either replaced or completely canceled their 2021 Spring Break as of March 31st, 2021. This decision is certainly understandable. Spring break is often associated with massive parties, which would now be classified as superspreader events as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Canceling spring break…

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Don’t Mistake My Quietness for Complacency

I am a second-generation Chinese American woman, living in a home that is in a privileged neighborhood, and about to graduate from my undergraduate studies. I acknowledge the privileges I have in my life, and I know I cannot speak for everyone, but I am speaking to amplify the voices of my community and encourage…

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How I Incorporated V-A-R® at Auburn University

As I finish up my senior year at Auburn University, I think about how the conversation about mental health has drastically changed over my four years on campus. Especially on how to show up for friends or for someone who may be struggling. Being an Active Minds chapter leader, I’ve received countless emails from other…

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Perfection is not Humanly Possible: Learning to Overcome my Eating Disorder

I grew up in an athletic family. My mom and older brother both played volleyball, and I played just about everything under the sun, eventually falling in love with basketball. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I was on three separate basketball teams. Basketball was my life, and my body reflected…

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Persevering Through 2021

As we entered 2021, many of us reflected on the difficulties that we were able to overcome in 2020. We had to learn how to navigate through a global pandemic. We sought institutional change across the nation, addressing the social injustices that exist within our communities. We missed out on big milestones, from graduations to…

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Self-care in a New Normal

Self-care looks different for everyone. Some find inner peace by practicing mindfulness, and others enjoy writing their thoughts and feelings in a journal. Regardless of your self-care regimen, we can all agree that the pandemic has changed the way we take care of ourselves. Prior to the pandemic, I would enjoy going out to new…

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Fostering Relationships Between Faculty & Students Through Cultural Competency Training

Looking back, when I was a wide-eyed high school student, I had a lot of difficulty choosing which college to go to. That summer, I took a course at Ithaca College that cemented the decision for me. It was called “Communication, Culture, and Rhetoric,” led by a Black professor and predominantly attended by students of…

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Managing Mental Health on Campus During Covid

While walking through Kogan Plaza at George Washington University, there’s a stillness in the early morning coupled with unfamiliar silence. The regular stirring city atmosphere has minimized into a soft hum, with infrequent passing bikers and working professionals. Campus has maintained its looks with hints of buff and blue on university buildings but has lost…

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