It’s week 7, but for some reason it feels like week 10. I thought maybe it was because of my senioritis, but as each week has passed and we’ve gotten closer and closer to midterms, I realized it was much more. You see, everyone paints a picture in their head that their senior year, despite the intensive job search, will have less work and more play. At least that’s how your girl imagined it to be, until I received 6 syllabuses all demanding at least 4 hours of reading each week. Anyone who knows me, knows I enjoy reading, for pleasure that is.
Since I can remember, I’ve hated reading from old, dusty textbooks that weigh more than me, but I especially dislike it if it is reading about something that doesn’t intrigue me. What I came to find out was that the cause of my stress hasn’t necessarily been the readings and heavy workload, but my 39,029 other commitments that I have. I rustled with the thought of possibly letting go of all my outside commitments, or just getting up earlier in the day to feel less frazzled, but the truth is, my anxiety and stress come in waves from time to time.
I first realized that I struggled with anxiety last fall, when like this semester, I decided to take on several extracurricular activities while taking 18 credit hours. If by now you’re wondering if I struggle with saying “no” to people, the answer is HYFR. I have since 1995, and it’s not something that I’m proud of. I’ve come to terms with the sheer fact that I like being busy, and it feeds my passion for always staying productive and working with people.
It wasn’t until one day last October that I realized I was out of my mind, and had dug myself into a hole. There were six weeks left in the semester, and I was completely behind in everything, which is unlike me. I am someone who has worked hard each semester despite the hardships, but all of a sudden I felt myself letting go of what I had worked my butt off to be here for.
It was that week that I sought help from friends and family.
The Media’s Impact
I believe that a large part of the stigma around people seeking help stems from how men and women act in the media. Since we have grown up, men and women are expected to be perfect and have it all together, but the truth is, no one does. Not even Beyoncé. I mean, for goodness sake; she even wrote an album about her emotions. We have set up these gender expectations for men to be tough and not discuss their feelings, and for women to be strong and fearless.
However, we are all human and sometimes life is extremely hard. We sometimes find ourselves comparing each other to those who we are curious about, admire and are inspired by.
Unfortunately, as a society we often times only see the good stuff, what people want us to see; not even knowing what people are battling internally. Scott Mescudi, also known as Kid Cudi and Kehlani Parrish, are two examples of public figures who have shared their battles with depression and anxiety through social media. Kid Cudi released a statement online saying that he needs to take a break from music to take care of himself and regroup. About a year ago, the internet nearly broke when singer Kehlani came forward after breaking up with Cleveland Cavaliers player, Kyrie Irving, addressing her struggles with depression.
We have to stop feeling like we can’t talk about these things, especially on social media, which is in some ways the most instrumental way to spread love and positivity. Our generation seems to struggle when it comes to having sensitivity to certain things, however it’s important to realize that just because it’s not a hot topic, doesn’t mean it’s not extremely important to talk about. Mental health and caring for yourself are the two most important things in our lives.
Why it Matters
Mental health may not be something that you struggle with, but the thing is, not everything that you support needs to be something that you’re struggling with. Mental health is a serious part of one’s life and it should never go unnoticed. Being a college student, life gets difficult sometimes. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, and often times 24 hours isn’t enough time in the day.
But, this year has been a remarkable one for me because I’ve found what works for me, and how I can go about my day stress-free. Just know that it took a few different ways to get there, and like everyone, I still have my bad days every now and again. What keeps me going is the people I know I can count on when I need it most. I hope that telling my story reaches someone and touches them, because at the end of the day, you’re never alone.
Finding inner peace should always be the end goal.