Awareness about mental health within the black community has become a much bigger topic over the past few years. College students in particular deal with an excess amount of stress when it comes closer to the end of the semester. Either we are trying to maintain our GPAs, or trying to raise them. Both are extremely stressful. We don’t even know how to balance extracurricular activities, work, and classes.

As the semester comes to an end, we’re either running around like chickens with our heads cut off, or happy that we didn’t procrastinate all semester like some of our classmates. A few Southern students shared their experiences as we get closer to finals. They have different majors, but most feel pretty much the same about this point in the semester.

Talaya Johnson, a freshman nursing major with a minor in Spanish from Baton Rouge, said she prepared herself for the end of the semester by not procrastinating. “My mental health is at a great point. I maintained being active in organizations throughout this semester, and I completed assignments before the due date so I wouldn’t have any breakdowns, as I did in the fall,” said Johnson.

Sierra Davis, a junior nursing major from Philadelphia said otherwise. “My mental health is not going so great. I’m stressing about keeping my GPA and my grades high. It just feels like everything is crashing down as the semester comes to an end. I’m hoping everything works in my favor,“ said Davis.

Kayon Johnson, a sophomore history major with a minor in secondary education from LaPlace, Louisiana, is stressed as well. “As the semester begins to close, I always start to get more tired than usual and my anxiety rises. So, qright now, my mental health is like a roller coaster ride, taking all kinds of expected turns. I believe that because I’ve been stressing about maintaining my grades, it’s taken a huge toll on my mental health,” said Johnson.

BreAisa Austin, a sophomore mass communications major from Dallas, says that she feels the pressure too. “The end of the semester has simply been heavy on my mental. Staying focused on my grades, while trying to secure an internship and still handle other responsibilities has been a big weight on my shoulders,” said Austin.

Our mental health is at stake, and too many of us don’t take that serious enough. Anxiety and depression take such a toll on college students towards the end of the semester. Remember, you are not alone. If you are feeling down, or overwhelmed, we have a mental health facility on campus. Also, if you want to anonymously speak to someone about your struggles, you can. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-TALK. To reach the Crisis Text Line, text NAMI to 741-741. The National Hopeline is 1-800-SUICIDE.

We want to see every student succeed in their classes. So, what are some ways to prevent the end of semester mental breakdowns? Procatstination MUST stop. Planners NEED to be picked up, because organization is a MUST. Time management is detrimental.

So, in the semesters to come, let’s prepare better and stay on task all semester. We don’t want to have to play the catch up game towards the end!

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