Welcome to Week Four of the semester — classes are underway, midterms are right around the corner and life just got a whole lot busier.
While high grades are a top priority for any student, especially here at Hopkins, we also want to emphasize the importance of maintaining your mental health and well-being.
Since the semester started, Brody has been bustling with students who are not only studying but catching up with friends in between tackling chemistry backtests or writing papers about German politics. In this kind of environment, it's extremely difficult to separate work from play. Even the breaks we spend chatting with classmates in the Atrium or snacking on pastries in Brody Cafe don’t feel very restful. While other universities have student centers for socializing and club activities, ours won’t be open until fall 2024.
Moreover, students often have added pressure to be as productive as their peers. It’s a part of the Hopkins culture to compare. Did they finish their homework? Why is this problem set taking me longer? Do I have to study more? While it’s hard to put those feelings aside, it doesn’t do any good to close yourself off in a B-level carrel for hours on end simply because you feel like you have to.
In 2018, the Task Force on Student Mental Health and Well-being published a report containing staggering statistics, including that almost 30% of undergraduates had seriously considered suicide.
Four years have passed and the University has not released updated data on the student body’s mental health. But given what the past few years have held, we’re not that optimistic.
Since the pandemic hit, college students in general have reported higher levels of anxiety and stress. The University has made some changes to combat this problem, such as providing students with access to the virtual mental health resource TimelyCare.
Though the Hopkins Bubble is real, our campus doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Everyone is experiencing increased apathy, stress and trauma. The four whiteboard walls of a Brody study room may occasionally make the rest of the world fall away, but our psyches are still susceptible to global stressors.
It’s important to recognize that we’re still adjusting from virtual classes. Even though we’re grateful to be back in-person, we now have to allocate more time to get ready in the morning, walk to classes, grab meals and attend office hours. Finding a way to juggle it all, after being acclimated to remote or hybrid school, can be overwhelming at times.
Hopkins offers many resources for students’ mental health, such as the Counseling Center, a free premium subscription to the Calm app and several health and wellness events. Oh, and don’t forget Tillie Tuedays.
Even though we would love to recommend periodically shutting down your laptop and frolicking on the quads, we know our audience. Hopkins students like to hit the books — hard. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with burning the midnight oil. Just try not to burn yourself out in the process.