Is college really that LiT?

Yes I am a college student writing about college, it’s pretty fun, for the most part.

Exams, loads of homework, forming new relationships, friendships to last a life time, partying till you’re blacked out. That all sounds super fun, right? After a bit, you realize that because of all these new factors that are now apart of your daily life, it can be a handful. How does one student handle this new pressure and responsibilities but still have the time of your life in what everyone says are (apparently) the “best years of your life”? Some say high school were the best years of their lives, but if that’s the case, I’m sorry. Students become nothing but stressed, it’s in the nature of your education to do so. As time goes on though, what happens if that feeling doesn’t go away? Will it only become to grow stronger?

Yikes.

Mental illness is most common among the ages between 18–24, obviously correlating with people going to school. What’s alarming is that the highest rates of mental illnesses in college are depression and anxiety. That just sounds like a lot of more pressure and difficulty to add onto an individual. A lot of the time, people tend to confuse the two, giving a basic definition to both; Anxiety is basically the fear of the future, while Depression is the acceptance of sadness in the future. It’s weird because they’re completely different, yet, pretty damn similar. What even happens when someone becomes depressed or soon has anxiety, and even worse, both? What goes through their head every day? It’s alarming too, you would hope that college becomes a new chapter, redemption, but then reality slaps you in the face. It hits you as hard as a semi-truck running into you (not that I would know, but I would assume it would be really painful, stay off the roads). What I’m curious about is how long it takes for people to realize that they have a mental illness, all it does is affect your lifestyle negatively, but I guess when you’re in that trance you don’t even notice the changes. Kinda like when a married couple becomes “comfortable” with each other, if you know what I mean. They don’t notice till a few years later but they most likely don’t fix it.

In my family, many of my family members have dealt with severe depression, and in one extreme case, bipolar. A few friends of mine have also talked to me about their difficulties dealing with anxiety. All you want for them is to get out of it, but what does it take for that to happen? When you’re on your own completely, no one but yourself is there. It’s up to you to decide if you want to change it. Granted, easier said than done. The goal is to make sure that these students are aware they can receive help, even if it’s just venting to a friend, or calling a hotline, or just admitting to themselves. No one wants to feel alone, and that’s the other worrying part about these illnesses. People suffering from anxiety or depression are less likely to become more social, connect with the community, and just enjoy life to the fullest extent.

What I personally hope for is the stats to go down relating to how many students deal with anxiety or depression on a day to day basis. It’s difficult not being able to understand completely what one is going through too if you haven't experienced it, just try to keep an open mind in this situation. College can be and definitely will be stressful at times, but there’s many ways to help you cope with the stress. Exercising, drawing, hanging out with friends (after studying, of course), reading something enjoyable instead of a text book, there are many ways to help. Personally, I hope to be able to look at college in a different perspective, so far, having been here for 2 months, it has been a trip; just because you’re going to school, doesn’t mean life can’t get in the way. Emotions mean everything to a person’s stable health. As long as you try your best to have happier emotions, the better you’ll feel. In severe cases, it can take awhile to be able to overcome this, but I believe students can overcome it rapidly. It’s all about having an open mind to what you’re given, there are many opportunities to be engaging in school besides homework. Clubs, music programs, sports, volunteering, etc., are all here for you.

What I hope for most out of this experience I have had and seen is, I know there’s always a place to go to, to seek for help. Once someone notices, the possibilities to recovery are exponential.

College is all about having fun, and getting that degree, remember why you’re here and what you’re meant to do.