Ambitious, Educated and Anxious
BY CHEYANNE ENCISO
Ah, the millennial generation. Who knew this one specific age group could be so greatly misunderstood, unfairly represented and apparently, have more anxiety than any other generations?
A national survey released in 2017 by Headspace and the National Union of Student found that tertiary education is taking a psychological toll on Australian students. It revealed that almost 70% of students aged between 17 and 25 rates their mental health as “poor.” Almost 80% reported feeling anxious, and about 60% had feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness.
But what exactly is anxiety? This seven letter, four-syllableword describes a range of experiences and emotions, both physical and psychological. It is a feeling of chronic unease, such as worry or fear, which can range from mild or severe.
Some people find it hard to control their worries and their feelings of anxiety are more common, which can often affect their daily lives.
Simple explanations as to why we’re all so anxious tend to revolve around the modern day obsession with technology, although, some of you probably already knew that. Western life today has become a never-ending cycle of technology, sleep deprivation and high expectations set by the Internet, particularly social media. Many of us are running around with too many “tabs” open inside our head, are constantly changing between screens and are compulsively checking social media.
You might already be familiar with ‘Confessions at Murdoch,’ a Facebook page dedicated for Murdoch students to anonymously complain about anything, share positive and negative experiences on campus, confess love and hate and to share one’s troubles.
While the most common confessions include complaints about parking, the slow Internet on campus or how people need to be quiet in the library, you also get hard-hitting ones that make you question whether someone is okay or not.
With a quick scroll through the page, it is apparent that many students are struggling, whether that’s in their personal life or with their studies. Of course, I understand that sharing on this page can let off steam and it is comforting to know that you’re not alone in the battle. Some comments under these ‘confessions’ encourage people to seek help by contacting helplines such us Lifeline or beyondblue.
Others merely post comments to let people know that they can relate or are open to listening or even to lend a helping hand.
If posting anonymously on the Facebook doesn’t relieve stress or anxiousness anymore, there are other options provided by the university itself. The Murdoch Guild Student, for example, is available to help with any questions you may have in relation to your studies as well as financial and welfare assistance.
According to Mark Tan, a postgraduate Student Assist officer, many students seek help during exams but also the period leading up to it. When asked what the most common issues that students come to Student Assist with, he said “academic misconduct allegations, wanting to retrospectively withdraw, deferrals, and not getting feedback on assignments.” Mark says that students should “come and find us early” and that their one-on-one consultations are confidential.
“Don’t hesitate to get in touch no matter what your issues are. If it’s not within our remit, we’ll advise and refer you on.”
If you would like to get more information about Student Assist, give their webpage a visit at www.murdochguild.com.au/student-assist as well as their Facebook page.
We need to start using words to express anxiousness and describe anxiety – to recognise that it’s a vast experience which affects people in different ways, and find new ways to talk about so that people can continue to better understand and approach it correctly.