Your First Year in College and You Are Depressed. How to Keep it from Destroying Your Life and Happiness

You worked like a dog through high school. You researched colleges and you were accepted! You were so happy!

You then arranged your life so that you could be gone from your home and family for years while you acquired the knowledge that would set you up for a great life.

You thought it would be so exciting and it was for the first few weeks. But now you find yourself missing home like crazy. You are worried that you won’t excel and you are afraid because there are things you just don’t understand.

Suddenly your life went from having the world on a string to “Oh my God! What have I gotten myself into?”

Everyone else seems to have it all together. Why are you the only one who feels this way?

The answer to that question is, you are not the only one. A good 25% of college students are depressed. And unfortuantely there is a rash tendency to start drugging the heck out of students when they are reacting emotionally to a drastic life change.

College is just that, a drastic life change, and it is not made any easier by the fact that you planned it all. You set it all in motion and there is a seemingly unspoken law that states that if you caused it you are not allowed to be upset about it.

That is false. You are perfectly entitled to be upset about it and in fact, anyone making such a drastic life change as you have will feel that way even if they intended to do it.

So what is happeneing to you? Why are you feeling so lonely and upset?

  1. Your one stable datum in life has been shaken.

L. Ron Hubbard wrote about the Stable Datum in his book “The Problems of Work”. A stable datum is a fact that you use to align other facts to.

In essence, your home has been a stable datum for you for as long as you have lived there. It is a fact that you have used to align your life.

When you move, even if you move with your whole family, you feel shaky for awhile until you become accustomed to the new situation. Your stable datum has changed. It is no longer stable. You must then create a new stable datum to take its place.

In the case of a new student going off to college, not only have you lost the stable datum of your home but also the family members who have been with you from day one. Anyone feels shaky in a situation like that and some people get very upset.

Don’t panic. The shakiness will wear off. Sometimes just knowing what it is makes it better.

2. You are in a completely new situation and everything is weird.

When I was a kid my parents moved all of us to Brussels for a year. I spoke NO French and I was NOT religious. Suddenly I was in a French Catholic school and was completely lost.

Everything was beyond weird. It was a new culture, new language and I had to study in French. I also left a boyfriend and all my buddies back home. I got depressed and cried a lot.

But I knew it was a situational depression. There was a situation in life that was very hard and as a result I got depressed for awhile until I figured things out.

Toward the end of the year there, I became happier. I learned French and figured out the customs. I even went about the city with my sister and found things to be excited about.

Back then they did not drug you if you got depressed. Depression is part of life. It occurs when you are struggling with something new. The cure for it is to keep going. Put your head down and make a pact with yourself that this will NOT get the better of you. Decide now that you are a badass and that you are going to come out on top.

3. Don’t let anyone drug you with psych drugs.

The willy nilly drugging that occurs today with these highly toxic and addictive substances is ridiculously irresponsible.

A friend of mine became addicted to one of these drugs. She later confided in me that kicking these drugs was the hardest thing she had ever done. It almost killed her.

Do not add a drug addiction problem to an already difficult situation. In addition these drugs affect your judgement and can make you do things you later bitterly regret. Don’t make things harder for yourself.

4. Find some friends

There is no substitute for a friend who is willing to listen to your troubles and you being willing to listen to theirs.

I would bet millions that college campuses are filled with new students looking for someone to talk to. Reach out to someone. They might be as lonely as you are.

5. Understand that the world does not end if you fail.

In fact, the only failure is giving up. If you are failing a class, you can take it again and here is some very important information: It may not be that you are dumb or thick, It may be that your professor or teacher has no idea how to teach.

6. Know that most teachers have no idea how to teach a subject correctly.

I have been amazed at how some instructors “teach”. They throw a gluey mass of data at you and make you memorize all of it. Most of it has no value in life at all.

Many, many teachers are bottom line terrible teachers. They do not understand that data has relative importances. Not every piece of information is as important as every other piece. Some have no value at all. So forcing someone to rotely memorize every little thing is ridiculous and borderline abusive in my view.

Additionally many teachers do not have a sense of the correct sequence of data. They give you stuff all out of sequence and it makes no sense. Then they have the gall to wonder why you are confused. Data given out of sequence is confusing.

Another vile teaching sin is when they leave out vital facts that would logically lead you to the correct conclusion. If you don’t have all the facts that logically follow one another, you WILL be confused.

And confusion creates depression.

And confusion looks a lot like learning disabilities so many students are diagnosed, labelled and drugged incorrectly.

And yet none of these things are taught to educators when they learn how to teach.

Therefore the chances of you being confused are very high and the chances that it is your fault for being so, is pretty low.

When you run into a situation like this in a subject, go outside the class for your information. There is a ton of data on the internet and you will be able to pick out the data you need in the sequence it should be in relatively easily.

7. Do not let anyone into your life that belittles, invalidates you or tells you what to think about yourself.

If you feel worse after an exchange with someone, chances are they should not be in your life. This goes for friends or even teachers or administrators.

Weed them out like the toxic life killers they are. You do not owe friendship or association to anyone who does this even if they try to make you think that you do.

8. Understand that no life situation, no matter how tough or painful, lasts forever.

Someday there will be an end to this and you will be onto the next thing.

I hope this gives you some hope. Life can be pretty tough at times. Just understand that tough situations are a part of life and you are a total badass. You will get through it. And when you find that you have bested a difficult situation, you will be even more badass.

You got this.