College is far from easy. If you’re depressed in college, it is even more difficult. Wherever you are and whatever you’re majoring/taking classes in, depression can come from any aspect of life. Here are a few things to note and to do when you feel depressed, from a depressed person herself.
1. Pause and Put in Perspective
Take a moment and breathe. Stop everything, close your eyes and think about your situation. You are a student above all, and you are determined to educate yourself so you can be successful in the future. The fact that you are in college is a respectable action and a great achievement in itself. You’ve done so much to get where you are right now, through the good and bad times. Just look at what you’ve achieved and understand that you have accomplished a lot.
2. Do What’s Best For You
Depending on your parents/guardians and the environment you grew up in, you may have been told that college is mandatory if you want to be successful. While higher education is encouraged, that doesn’t mean that you are stuck in this major, at this place, or on this path you’re currently in. College isn’t automatically right for everyone, and if you’re unhappy with your current situation, think about why and how to change it. It’s not a simple decision, but maybe see what other paths are available to you with other classes, majors, schools, and even other general possibilities.
3. Tell Someone You Trust
This kind of feeling is not easy to deal with on your own. If you’re sad and confused, try talking to someone that will be honest and helpful for you. That person is different for all of us, be it a friend, parent, or someone else altogether. Make sure that this person will listen to you and hear your concerns, without leading you down the path they think is best for you. Most schools have a counseling center or a counselor to refer to off campus, and all counselors are trained to be confidential and understanding. Also, don’t get annoyed at anyone for asking if you are suicidal or in danger, because they just want to help you and they are open to doing whatever it takes to make you feel better. They want your happiness and success as much as you do. People need to know your situation before they can help you fix it, so don’t be intimidated by the questions they ask.
4. Know You’re Not Alone, and This Too Will Pass
A lot of people don’t say it, but everyone has periods of depression in their lives and lots of reasons behind them. Don’t be afraid to speak out, because you deserve to be happy in your life. Your feelings are not invalid if you know someone else has a worse situation. Different things impact everyone in their own way, and all of these feelings are known to result from them. Whatever your beliefs and experiences, everyone has had instances of depression and most people are able to work through it.
As a person who was diagnosed with major depression at age 13, I’ve heard everything there is to know about this feeling. Trust me, you are okay and as capable of achieving your goals as you were before. Taking medication and/or seeing a therapist or counselor routinely doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. You are strong and no less of a person than without these feelings.
If you are feeling suicidal or in danger due to your depression, please:
Text “CONNECT” to 741741 for free counseling from the Crisis Text Line (24/7)
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free at 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)