When you’re heading back to college after summer break it’s common to feel nervous about the new school year. This year, however, there’s a growing crisis of anxiety related to the pandemic among college students.

A report from Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Consortium on 30,725 undergraduates from nine universities found that 39% of students reported generalized anxiety disorder. That’s 1.5 times higher than in 2019.

If your anxiety about college is spinning out of control, here’s a mental health checklist that will help you calm your emotional brain and soothe anxiety.

1. Don’t believe every single thought you have.

Your thoughts lie. They lie a lot. If you’re filled with automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) like, “if we go back to school, I know we’re all going to catch COVID and die,” it will fuel anxiety.

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