Welcome to the first blog post in our all new mental health series! If you missed our original Instagram post Coral & Ink is changing, we've decided that alongside our super cute stationery it was important to share and promote the importance of mental health and self-care hence why we started this new series of sharing YOUR personal stories and experiences!
In this blog post the lovely Mari from @mari.study.space has shared some of her struggles with the pressures she faces as a student:
The overwhelming pressures of schools, work and making the people who are important to you proud is something most students know all too well, but what we often fail to realise is how much pressure we put on ourselves. I’ve definitely been guilty of taking on too much at once and not recognising how badly it was affecting my mental health.
I study Psychology at university and during my first year, I was also balancing two jobs and two additional extracurricular courses. Towards the end of my first semester, I was so stressed out and barely had any time that I wasn’t spending hunched over my desk trying to keep up with everything. Eventually, I had to admit I was doing too much. I gave up one of my jobs and dropped a course I was taking - I’ve always been scared of failing and not hitting the expectations that other people have for me, but I had to recognise that I was being my own harshest critic; the people I was trying so hard to impress just wanted me to engage in courses that I enjoyed, not push myself to the brink. Really, I just didn’t want to be disappointed in myself for not managing to balance everything but the relief I felt after no longer having these extra responsibilities meant I had no disappointment - I just had more time to take care of myself.
It’s important to recognise that sometimes, giving up isn’t a bad thing - if you’re trying to do the same thing over and over and it's never working, it's an idea to change what you’re doing. Your goal can stay the same, but your path to getting there may need to change. It’s ok to change your mind - if you realise that something isn’t for you anymore, the time you’ve spent on it wasn’t a waste of time if you decide to switch to something else; it was simply a stepping stone on your way to your success.
Being ambitious isn’t a bad thing either, but you have to recognise that you can’t do everything. An issue I had was trying to do too much too fast - I wanted to complete multiple courses in as short a time as possible. I had to learn that it's not a race! It's ok to take things slow, take a break when you need them, repeat a year of your course or have to delay your plans when they’re taking too much out of you.
Remember: impressing others and keeping them proud of you is not the most important thing. It's a great perk, but when it comes to academic and career-choices, the only person who matters is you! If you’re not happy with the courses you’ve chosen or the path you’re going down, you should change it, irrespective of other people’s opinions. Eventually, the people who love you will get over it - most of the time they only have those expectations of you because they wish the best for you.
Your happiness is the most important thing - push yourself away from anything that takes you away from it.
Make sure to head to Mari's Instagram page and give her a follow for more study tips!