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Maintaining Mental Wellness: Essential Tips for Thriving as an Online Student

Online education is here to meet you where you are: at home with your family, working full-time, stationed remotely around the world, or any combination of unique life experiences. Even with the flexibility of taking your classes online, it can still be challenging to balance coursework with the other demands of life and mental wellbeing often takes a backseat.

If you have felt anxious or stressed, it is likely that you have seen the suggestions: exercise, get enough sleep, be kind to yourself. While these are important, here are some tips you might not have considered that can help you specifically as an online student:

Find a mentor

Having a mentor can make a significant difference in your career, but it can also be helpful to you as a student. Where should you look for a mentor? Think of someone you look up to, or someone who aligns with your long-term goals. Someone in your network whom you trust and look to for guidance is a valuable resource for navigating career and education uncertainty. Having an additional cheerleader to support and encourage you on your online education journey can help you combat feelings of worry during your coursework and even as you transition into your new career.

Connect with a community of support

Find students with similar interests or experiences you can share. You might reach out to your classmates to form study groups or take advantage of support networks already in place at the University. We recognize that military life comes with its own set of special challenges and responsibilities, but the veteran support community exists to help so you can successfully navigate your academic pursuits while serving your country. Find information about the Center for Americas Veterans and other student support services here: https://www.online.msstate.edu/student-services

Celebrate your milestones

You have already accomplished so much! Continue to set goals for yourself on your online education journey and celebrate the milestones you reach, whether it be completing a group project or acing a final exam. Working towards these goals can help you stay focused and engaged, even during challenging times. Your achievements, no matter how big or small they seem, deserve celebration!

Ask for help

Do not be afraid to reach out to your instructors if you have a question about the lesson or need some extra clarification on an assignment. They are there to help you succeed and want to see you do your best. You can also seek guidance from your advisor, who can provide valuable support and help you achieve your academic goals. You can also ask for help from a mental health professional. MS State Online students have access to the My Student Support Program. This app provides text chat, voice, and video options for receiving confidential counseling and support in your journey as a student, as well as your personal relationships and other aspects of mental wellbeing. You can read more about My SSP here: https://www5.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2022/09/msu-students-have-new-mental-health-resource-my-ssp-app