Self-Care for Students 

Ava Stockstad, Reporter

This month is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which means it is our time to draw attention to the safety and health of those here at the university and in our community. For students who are experiencing their first year on campus, this semester can be especially challenging, and it’s not a stretch to say that new students may face negative impacts to their mental health during this transition period. Especially as the weather starts to get colder, and as classes pile on the work, students are prone to struggles with declining mental health. 


Many students on campus have spent the past few weeks seeking out ways to cope with these stressful periods at UND. Here are some of the ways students take care of themselves and their mental health during this time. 


One first-year student reveals that she enjoys getting off the campus when she is starting to feel down. “It is nice to explore the area away from campus. While I love it at UND, it can be helpful to get a breath of fresh air.” Whether it is a movie at River Cinema or a window-shopping trip downtown, exploring Grand Forks can be an experience that serves everyone. 


Another first-year student shares that her favorite self-care activity is watching her favorite movies. Her current favorite movies to watch are La La Land (available on Hulu) and Little Women. 


It is also necessary to consider that the experiences of some freshmen at UND this year may vary based off their living situation. I spoke with a student who is living on her own for the first time off campus. When she was asked how she preserves her mental health while living on her own, she shared that she loves to “journal and romanticize living alone.” When reflecting on her independence, she said, “I like living alone because I am a person who really values personal space and alone time to unwind. I do things like watch TV, cook, draw, and entertain myself without other people around, but I try my best not to isolate myself. I make sure I’m hanging out with friends or hanging out on campus throughout the week as well.” 


However, it’s also important to acknowledge that it is not only first-year students that struggle with feelings of loneliness or depression here on campus. An upperclassman shares that he also struggles with his mental health throughout the year. “Honestly, I just make sure I leave enough time to myself throughout the week so I have some time to relax and just think,” he says. It is easy to get wrapped up in things like classes, sports, work, and social activities while in college. While alone time and moments of mindfulness might seem insignificant, they can bring a tremendously positive impact to your lifestyle and emotional health while on campus. 


When talking with a third-year student here on campus, she shared how she sought out UND’s therapy services to help cope with her feelings of anxiety and depression during her first school year. “Coming into UND my freshman year, I struggled with the transition away from my close friends and family. When I started struggling with my mental health, one of my instructors referred me to the counseling center, where I received support that helped me overcome my depression.” She recommends the University Counseling Center as a resource to any new students here at UND who are struggling. “Seeking their help changed my life,” she says. 


If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or is in a crisis, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. For more information on the lifeline, please visit 


 Ava Stockstad is a Dakota Student Reporter. She can be reached at [email protected].