Photo by John Guthrie

Recently, there has been much conversation around campus about mental health at Tech. These discussions often center around the availability of resources on campus. While we agree that mental health resources are incredibly important and should be made accessible to all students, we also believe that the  current mental health conversation should be expanded to include what everyone at Tech can do to help improve campus culture.

In many ways, Tech is an institution like no other. While  the constant pressure has led to job offers and research grants, it cannot be denied that it has also led to large amounts of stress, anxiety and depression.

Classes, and by extension faculty, can be a main contributor to stress at Tech.  While we understand the immense pressure faculty are under to succeed in their fields, it can feel like research is placed before teaching. Stories of classes with steep curves, failing average grades or unreasonable homework expectations are not unheard of, but commonplace.

The way current discussions about mental health are conducted can cause students to fall into a “me versus Tech” mentality.

Furthermore, we believe that mental health should be discussed on campus openly throughout the year,  to current and prospective students. Students should come into Tech prepared for the challenges they will face and comfortable discussing stress and its effects on campus life.

Finally, students also have a part to play in changing campus culture. Currently, we praise each other for our all-nighters and 18 hour days, and  laugh at those who eat regularly or have time to take a break. This is a terribly flawed mentality and it needs to change.

We need to reestablish the importance of self-care on campus and we need to do it soon. Together, the administration, faculty and students can make Tech not only a great academic institution but also a great place to live.

  • wardwellstreet

    I agree that students can do a lot to change the culture. We complain a lot about our workloads contributing poorly to our mental health, yet we forget that we are the ones who have power to change our situation. Things like having a therapist should not be frowned upon. Often times we hear about fellow classmates binge watching Netflix. That is a major contributor to procrastination and therefore stress and all nighters later down the road. We are investing in our minds while here, but we should also invest in our bodies with regular exercise and eating healthy. We have resources on campus available, but maybe we should look out for our fellow classmates and friends. Talk about these issues regularly. Speak up if someone or something doesn’t feel right. We are not alone.