Mental health awareness month is over, but stress continues to grow as final projects are due and final exams are creeping up on us all. But don’t worry, my friends—the semester is almost over.

A student’s stress is often underrated by those who have never attended university. Those people can include our parents, bosses, and significant others. Sometimes, though, it seems like even our professors underestimate how stressful university is.

When under as much stress as we students often are, it’s easy to lose our minds a bit and go a little crazy. Sometimes we take things out on those who are close to us and those who don’t understand why we’re so stressed. I would like to take this moment to thank everyone in my life that has dealt with my absurd mental breakdowns recently, and apologize for the rest that are to come in the following weeks leading up to Christmas. I encourage those who may also be experiencing extreme
stress to do the same. Be thankful for those who are willing to support you.

First, I would like to say thank you to my parents for helping me financially. It doesn’t seem to matter how many jobs I have, how many hours I work, or how much money I make—it’s never quite enough to cover all my bills and tuition. Thank you, Mom, for listening to me cry over the phone about all the money that magically disappeared, and for giving me what I need to get by, even though you can’t afford to support me like that anymore.

Second, I would like to say thank you to all my bosses for believing in me. Not many students can manage working a full-time job, as well as two part-time jobs, while attending university full-time. Any other employers would likely have turned me down and called me crazy.

Third, I would like to say thank you to my boyfriend for putting up with me. I know you think I’m crazy for taking on all these responsibilities, I know I cry over a lot of silly things, and I know you don’t understand my level of stress, but, regardless, you’re always there to listen and support me in any way you can, and I truly appreciate that.

Finally, I would like to say thank you to all the understanding professors at VIU. I miss too many classes, and I’m late on most
assignments, but somehow I’ve never failed a class (yet). Students, please remember to take care of yourselves in the next
few weeks. Your mental health and well-being is important, and they should take priority above education. Relieve your stress in a healthy manner, such as exercising. Don’t be afraid to cry, even if it’s about the silliest things (trust me, I’ve cried over dropping nachos). Take advantage of the supportive people around you—they want to help.

The end is in sight. Take a deep breath, and push through it. Enjoy the short break before another four months of stress begins.

Everyday Earth: Your brain on nature


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