I am feeling stressed about college/exams. How can I get help?
College can be stressful, especially for those who have experienced mental health challenges. Exam season can be especially difficult. Many students worry about failing tests, returning home to family, and managing personal wellness.At this time, it is important to prioritize your mental health.
You may wish to consult NAMI’s Mental Health in College web page to read about common emotional challenges faced by college students, information about requesting academic accommodations, helpful language for reaching out to advisors for support, and considerations for taking a leave of absence from school.
College campuses have academic programs and resources to support your academic success. These can include advising centers, tutoring groups, and classroom/exam accommodations. There are also many online and mobile resources to help with learning class material and building good study habits.
- Search your school’s website and social media pages to find on-campus study groups and tutoring resources.
- Students with documented learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and mental health conditions can receive academic accommodations such as extended due dates and more time to complete exams.
- Contact your school’s Office of Student Services, or a Student Disability Services Office, to submit a request for accommodations. Be prepared to provide documentation from your mental and medical health providers about your diagnoses and conditions. If you had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan to receive academic support in high school, you can provide this documentation as well.
- Khan Academy – free academic app offering lessons and quizzes for most subjects at any academic level.
- Quizlet – free app that allows users to create sets of flashcards or study from existing sets to prepare for tests and exams; creates quizzes and learning games based on flashcard sets.
- My Study Life – free study and organization app that allows users to plan and track tasks, input class, assignment, and exam schedules, and set study timers.
Most college campuses also have counseling, health, and wellness resources to support students’ mental and emotional health. Connecting with your school’s counseling office is a great way to receive emotional support, stress-management resources, and information about navigating a mental health crisis.
Mental Health and Wellness Services
- Most colleges have offices that offer free counseling, support groups, and stress relief activities. Common names for these offices include Counseling Center, Health and Wellness Services, or Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
- Review NAMI’s Mental Health in College Guide - this guide offers parents and students the opportunity to learn more about mental health in college, including what the privacy laws are and how mental health information can be shared.
- Contact your local NAMI to find support groups and other mental health resources in your community.
- Ask your mental health and wellness office what crisis supports are available through your school. This could include university crisis counselors or local crisis and emergency services.
- Review NAMI’s Navigating a Mental Health Crisis Guide - this guide outlines what can contribute to a crisis, warning signs that a crisis is emerging, strategies to help de-escalate a crisis, available resources and so much more.
- Call 988 or visit https://988lifeline.org/chat/ if you are having thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health crisis.