The triple threat: How students maintain their classes, grades and health

Photo+courtesy+of+Behavioral+Health+Equity+Research+Group.

Photo courtesy of Behavioral Health Equity Research Group.

Autumn Okuszka, Features Reporter

Eat, sleep, repeat. Or more familiarly to students across the nation — eat, study, sleep, repeat.

It’s a cycle that preoccupies so many students that they often neglect themselves and their physical and mental health. However, it’s a cycle that can be broken as Oakland University students have found ways to prioritize themselves while also making sure they get their diploma come graduation day. 

Sophomore Valerie Aljajawi says the gym is her safe haven when she’s not studying. It’s a place she goes to ensure she is taking care of herself while also taking care of her classes and grades.

“It sounds so cliche to say, ‘oh, just go to the gym, it’ll make you feel better,’ but it’s so true,” Aljajawi said. “I find that when I [go] to the gym, I feel better, I sleep better.” 

Although he partakes in hobbies such as tennis and snowboarding, senior Yardley Resendiz also finds refuge in going to the gym.

“I think it’s good to set aside a scheduled time [to go to the gym],” Resendiz said. “Whether that be a couple days in the week [or] whenever you can find time.”

While exercising helps Aljajawi and Resendiz break up the monotony, senior Esme Lowry intends to stay healthy by maintaining a good diet. 

“I try to eat well,” Lowry said. “If you eat at the dining [halls], I usually eat a salad everyday in addition to the other stuff [they have there] because it usually helps.”

Senior Ethan Wyatt is also cautious of what he puts into his body, especially drinks.

“I switched to only drinking water in my freshman year, that helped,” Wyatt said.

While it is important to maintain physical health, what is equally if not more important is maintaining mental health. According to a study by The Healthy Minds Network, 41% of college students experience depression and 34% experience anxiety nationwide. 

Junior Tyliah Weathersby makes an effort to maintain her mental health by attending counseling sessions offered at the OU Counseling Center, which she says helps a lot. For students struggling with their mental health, Weathersby advises to put yourself first above all else. 

“Set priorities for yourself,” Weathersby said. “ If you know that you just can’t, don’t try to force it. Give yourself a break. Or, give yourself little rewards to help yourself feel accomplished.”

Junior Kennedy Aiello has dealt with depression and anxiety and believes it’s important to know that you’re not alone. She’s thankful for the abundance of mental health advocacy online.

“I’ve had mental health problems and I think it just helps in general because there’s a lot of advocacy online so people know they don’t [have to] feel alone,” Aiello said. “Everyone is going through something horrible so I think the first step too is just realizing you’re not alone and it’s not a bad thing.”

For students looking to maintain their physical health, they can visit the Recreation and Athletics Center. For students needing mental health support, they can visit the OU Counseling Center where the first four sessions are free.