It’s Okay to Not Be Okay


College students struggle daily with the tasks they are faced with, but it is okay to not be okay and to seek help.

Researchers from NCBI recently studied how college students feel overwhelmed and emotional when dealing with the different situations that come with living and being out on their own for possibly the first time. Their findings? Feeling not okay is completely normal.

According to NCBI, mental health is a major struggle for most college students and is a top concern. College students’ mental health and well-being is a major source of concern for higher education administrators, faculty, and staff.  “College counseling centers report being overwhelmed with requests for services. Other faculty and staff report working with campus and local resources to assist students with their mental health concerns.” With the availability of many different resources, it is becoming easier for college students to find the help they need. 

Many Delta State students ranging from athletes, people in long-distance relationships, and people who are just in school agree that college life is not easy all the time. 

Balancing Athletics, Schoolwork, and a Long-Distance Relationship

Brookelyn Sweeney, a softball player here at Delta State, balances school, athletics, and being in a long-distance relationship. 

“Of course it’s hard at times,” Sweeney says, “but nothing worth it ever comes easy. I know that, as an athlete and someone who is in a long-distance relationship, I am going to have bad days. I just had to find what worked for me to help me get through it. I also reassured myself when I felt down that it was okay because everyone struggles every now and then.”

As Sweeney battles with her struggles, she has found different ways to cope. “I learned that confiding in my friends and communicating my feelings and seeking advice has helped me overcome my battles. I also would recommend that someone who cannot find that sense of reassurance to seek professional help. Many of my friends have gone to counseling and seen therapists, and it seems to have worked for them very well.”

“It is vital to find what works best for you and the things or people that will most effectively help you get through your battles,” Sweeney adds.

Tips for Relieving Stress

On the other side of the spectrum, students who are enrolled in school with no other activities or relationships can also feel alone or like they are not good enough. 

Criminology major Katelyn Carcich admits to feeling this way sometimes. “Of course I know that a lot of my stress comes from the pursuit of my degree, but I know that stress, wherever it comes from, is stress. It’s a hard thing to battle with, and to make sure you are still staying focused to get the tasks done that you need to is even more of a challenge in stressful times.”

“When I feel myself getting stressed, I go through some simple steps to help relieve the tension in my body,” Careich adds. 

Careich’s steps include:

  • Walk away from work
  • Fix a glass of wine or coffee
  • Listen to calming music or watch a short movie

“I believe that everyone can find a routine to calm themselves down, and it can help them as it has helped me,” Careich adds. “I believe that everyone can overcome this feeling and become successful if they put their mind to it.”

Carcich further says, “It is normal to feel overwhelmed with school, and the degree you are pursuing can play a big role in that as well…It is easy to feel alone or like you cannot become successful, but hang in there. I believe that everyone can overcome this feeling and become successful if they put their mind to it.”

Campus Resources

The feeling of hopelessness and lack of peace at times is difficult for students to endure. It is okay to not be okay, though. College is not all sunshine and butterflies. It comes with just as many struggles as it does good times, and that is okay. It is okay to not have everything figured out at once. If you are feeling lost, there are always people to help, such as family, friends, therapists, and many more resources. For more information, see

Growing up is not easy. College students are introduced to the next big stepping stone in their lives as they are getting out on their own and learning to spread their wings. With these new experiences, come struggles and hardships, but it is okay to struggle. By understanding this matter and seeking help, it is possible for anyone to overcome this. Kimberly Guilfoyle says, “If you put your mind to it, anything is possible.” With the help of many different resources, it is becoming easier for college students to find the help they need.