Everyday Mental Health Activism: College Edition
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Taking care of one’s own mental health is just as important as taking care of our physical health. However, this is easier said than done. It takes being an activist in our own lives to fully own our mental health. This youth submitted blog piece discusses the author’s mental health journey while beginning college. In challenging and changing times like these, it’s an important read. Interested in learning more about mental health activism? Check out this podcast episode.
Everyday Mental Health Activism: College Edition
By Macy Lee
Activism in its entirety is all about social change for the better. The word is vigorous, and appeals to cogency of action. This is true, but I also find activism in the most unpretentious acts of courage people do. Some of these acts include our very own internal decisions on how we deal with ourselves, other people, and the environment around us. College (so far) taught me that.
I first arrived at UC Davis last September, and I was immediately captivated by the beautiful community it had. There were trees everywhere, the weather was perfect, and people were extremely open and warm. While I had a great first few weeks in, later on I realized that not all that glitters is gold. Later on in the school year, I experienced many challenges in and out of academics. They were challenges in my eyes anyway. We all go through a set of internal struggles, and it’s important to recognize and validate them. My unique take on everyday activism is my own internal campaign to keep on going and doing what I think is right despite these hurdles.
How would I best describe these challenges? They were like tests. They helped a lot with making me reevaluate my life and see where I was with my morals, decisions, and overall progress with my goals. They reminded me of what I needed to redirect and spend my energy on, which was to do my best in my academics and work alongside making fruitful experiences in college. As simple as it sounds, it’s extremely hard to fully execute this. I’ve found myself spending time on many useless things and exerting effort on situations that don’t even ask for effort. Nevertheless, I still found those experiences worth it. Experiences, in its plethora of forms, opens your mind in so many ways. My experiences definitely enlightened and made me mentally stronger
Clear Your Mind
Take out anything in your mind that’s bothering you for the meantime. Take a walk, go for a shower, clean your room, eat food you’ve been craving, talk to a friend. Do whatever you need to temporarily clean your mind and feel slightly better.
Exercise, scream into a pillow, or do anything that takes out negative energy out of your system.
Try To Look at Your Problem From a Different Perspective
Think about what you’re going through and think of the best way to go about it. Talk to a friend about it for advice. Take into consideration their perspective aside from yourself. This could help you a lot!
Make A Plan & Stick By It
This is where a big aspect of activism comes in. In any project of any activist, there’s always a plan. For building your own personal activism, you should have a plan too. For this plan, it’s all about saving and making yourself better. What do you think the steps are in your situation that leads to this outcome? When you’ve figured that out, take those steps and stick by it.
Campaign & Support Your Plan
There’s lots of campaigning and rallying done in activist work. Why? Because support and reminder is vital in getting change done. You need to do the same for yourself; you are your number one cheerleader. Keep on going and encouraging yourself to take steps until you’ve achieved your goal/s.
I’ve been a mental health activist since I was 15 years old. I founded my own non-profit back in my hometown, the Philippines and have created a worldwide mental health initiative here in Northern California. I lead a group of over 50+ executive team members and over 200+ members all over the world. I’m a public speaker, writer, student, and of course, activist. I’ve mostly been doing activist work for other people. I’ve always viewed activism as an act to empower a big group of people or cause. But I realized that activism should first and foremost be a way to empower yourself. Activism exists to make ourselves confident in who we are; how we were born and how to achieve to become the people we wish to be.
I hope you were able to learn a thing or two about my personal everyday personal college activism experience.
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