Hello! Welcome back to another Scholastic Monday! Today I’m going to talk about the other side that can come up when you’re going to school: depression. I’ve written a bit more about anxiety since that’s what I face daily, but there are times when I’ve fallen into a depressive state that’s sometimes triggered by the smallest of things. Before I went to college no one told me about the constant pressure that comes with it.
There are so many things that comes along with college that doesn’t get addressed very much in high school. I remember being told that college was the next step in life, that college opened more doors for you, and that college would be very different than high school. No one told me about the constant pressure about being an adult and trying not to fail there. Then there is the debt that looms over your head and grows with each year, not to mention the pressure from family that insist they’re only trying to help when it some cases it causes more harm than they thought.
For me there was that on top of having to deal with failing classes, my dad dying of cancer, his inevitable death, not having a car, etc., that made things hard. Let’s not forget my added bonus of having anxiety that makes things extra great. I’m sure my story isn’t much different from many college students out there who are trying to make things work when it seems that everything is closing in around them.
I promise you, you’re not alone. It took me a long time to realize this, but I promise you’re not alone.
Here are some ways that helped me when that depressive cloud hung over my head.
- Put everything up for a while
I know you have that test to study for, that project to work on, that reading to do, and that list of work that seems to never stop growing. Well, I can tell you that if you leave it for a while, it’s still going to be there. It’s alright to put everything up and shut everything off and just relax for awhile. For me I can’t really take the noise of my phone so I put it on vibrate when I get home. Other times I shut off my laptop and just read a book. If I use my Kindle to read a book I shut off the wi-fi function because I know I’ll just go back on my email to check it for the tenth time that day. Shut it off, go outside, or do a calming activity inside.
Sometimes that quiet is needed when your mind is the loudest thing in the room.
- Find a small task and do it
I know how this might sound, but finding a small task and completing it can help very much. Whenever my depression grew I found it hard to complete any of my bigger tasks, but there were smaller things I could do that made me happy. I knew I could brush my hair and get lunch. I knew I could take notes or go to my lecture and sit through it if I needed to. When that negative little voice try to speak up in the back of my mind it can make nearly anything impossible. However, doing something small pushes that little voice away. It lets me know that I’m not a failure and if I can do something small, then I can move on to something bigger.
- Talk to someone
That last one sounds really easy doesn’t it? Well, I found that it’s not as easy as I thought. Whenever my depression gets really high it consists of me going to class, trying to fight back tears, and eating nearly everything I can buy. I start to isolate myself both online and in person. I thought that I was being a bother and no one wanted to talk to me. When my depression reached it’s peaked I thought that no one would miss me if something happened to me. It took me going to therapy to find out that wasn’t true.
When I told my friends and brothers about it they were a lot more accepting than I thought. It broke up that dark cloud over my head to know that people cared. I do regret that I took my anger out of some people or pull away when they wanted to help. We may have made up, but it’s another thing I had to work with. I’ve had good success with online people too. You might think you’re alone, but trust me we’re all in this together!
While depression might be something that hits that doesn’t mean you can’t work through it. There are times it may seem like there’s not light at the end of the tunnel, but there is.
You might have to get a little help to get there, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Here are some helpful links!
5 Tips to Avoid Depression in College: Here’s an article that can help you with more tips on what to do when that dark cloud comes around.
How to Deal With Depression in Your 20s: Here’s another one that tells you how to deal with depression in your 20s that pops up more than we thought.
Tips | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA: Here’s another place that offers some nice tips on how to help through anxiety and depression when they sometimes work together.
Have a great week!
Paul the study ghost says “It will be sunny again no matter how many dark clouds come rolling by!”