Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Mental Health and Graduate School

There’s no shortage of advice about how to manage mental health as a graduate student. Googling my title returns over 52 million results. And it’s no wonder – a 2017 study found that 25% of surveyed master’s students currently experienced moderate to severe anxiety symptoms, 12% experienced moderate to severe depression, and 22% experienced high levels of stress (Allen, et al., 2022). 

I wasn’t surveyed for the study, but I’ve struggled with my own mental health. Happily, I’m in a good place now and able to reflect on a few strategies that have helped me navigate my first year of graduate school:

Schedule Downtime

For me, it’s important to have both “sociable” downtime and “alone” downtime.

Some sociable downtime at the Clay Room in Brookline.

Get Moving 

Yoga, spin, and Zumba are my favorites, and I’m hoping to try out rollerblading this summer.

Careful with Caffeine

I’m currently trying to replace one coffee with a fruit smoothie a few times each week.


The single best and biggest thing I can do to improve my mood and resilience is to get at least six hours of sleep each night (and average eight).

Remember Long-term Goals 

Occasionally I look at postings for library jobs I’d like to have in a few years, and tick off the requirements I already meet, or am actively pursuing. It helps me celebrate how far I’ve already come!

Get Help

To manage my mental health long-term, I sometimes need professional support. I’m not ashamed to say that and neither should anybody else be.

To be human is to be flawed; I don’t follow all my own advice to the letter. But by mixing these goals with my work and school priorities, I remind myself not to let my mental health be an afterthought!  


Hannah K. Allen, Flavius Lilly, Kerry M. Green, Faika Zanjani, Kathryn B. Vincent & Amelia M. Arria (2022) Substance use and mental health problems among graduate students: Individual and program-level correlates, Journal of American College Health, 70:1, 65-73, DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2020.1725020