Name: Alyssa Friedman
School: University of Delaware
Major: Human Services with a minor in Disabilities Studies
Favourite thing about my campus: Definitely how beautiful the campus is. Nothing beats sitting on “the green” on a sunny day surrounded by tree-lined walkways and the brick, pillared buildings.
Dream Job: I would love to be an elementary school counselor. I also really enjoy working with Wear Your Label so continuing my journey with them would be beyond amazing.
What is your connection to mental illness?: I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember and have experienced bouts of depression. Over the years anxiety has taught me a lot about myself and I know that I am the person that I am today because of how strong anxiety has made me. Instead of letting it control my life I’ve learned to roll with the punches and take time out for myself when I need it. I also have multiple friends and family members that struggle with mental illnesses.
How do you deal with stress from school?: I try my best to plan out assignments and events I have going on throughout the week. Also trying not to procrastinate as much has proven to reduce a lot of my stress. Knowing what I have to do and when I have to do it allows me to allot time for school work while balancing the time I need for myself. Listening to music, writing, and baking are my favorite ways to relieve stress.
What does your campus do to help students’ mental health?: My campus has multiple resources for students who may be struggling. The Center for Counseling and Student Development is full of professionals to talk to, resources for outpatient treatment centers, and support groups. Also there is a registered student organization called Active Minds that works to reduce the stigmas surrounding mental illnesses for college students specifically. I am on the executive board for Active Minds and we plan stress relieving activities, awareness kiosks throughout campus, and bring in speakers to talk about mental health.
Do you have any school year self care tips to share with other students?: College is not a race. Take the time you need to figure out what you want to study and don’t feel like you are the only one who isn’t positive about what they want to do. Also remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Take the amount of classes you know that you can handle at a time even if it isn’t as many as everyone else. Your feelings and your struggles are valid, so amidst all you have going on make sure you take time out to do what is healthy for you.