My Intro to College Anxiety and Depression
I started college in the summer of 2017. Got all of my binge drinking, crappy eating, and terrible sleeping patterns out of the way in that first summer. I was optimistic, happy, ready to take on the world, and convinced by all the optimistic BS that I told myself.
I was a normal girl, normal family, normal friends, normal this and normal that. Unfortunately, I had issues. But, who doesn't have issues? With the combined cargo of mental anxiety and depression including my obsessive behaviors of an undiagnosed eating disorder, I never thought things would go so far.
My first official college night out, I was obviously the one to get hammered drunk and end up spending the night on my friends couch. That night signified my “maturity” of being through something. I thought to myself the next day in that haze, that if I can get through this shitty feeling and still turn in all my homework on time: I’M GOLDEN!
Flash forward to fall semester and believe it or not, I knew the campus, had friends, was overly optimistic for the possibilities, and completely unaware of the mental shit-hole baggage I would go through.
I know I sound depressing already as an individual, but underneath all the optimism I, like so many other freshman, was struggling with my identity. I didn’t know who I was, what I was going to become, and the clenching fists of life started to tighten around my throat. I felt strangled by “school” and being an “undecided major.”
Faster and faster, steeper and sharper, more rapid, more in sync, and more on top of my life were both burdens and goals I had in mind for myself. I wanted to be better, but felt unsuccessful...or technically unfulfilled.
Ever have the feeling of accomplishing an assignment or task and then after, realizing that your heart still had not been satisfied? I was doing what I had to do, without realizing the things that I wanted to do. I could do anything that I wanted to do, but felt held down. I could feel the sharp snags in my soul that kept me ensnared to the pit of my own doubt.
What I did with what I had was slowly shut out my friends, close off my real personality to others, continue to doubt who I was, barely eat, purge it back up, cry (and I mean CRY), and sit under the gigantic weights of uncertainty.
I felt like I had no control of the progress I had told myself to achieve. Phone calls with my mother where she would say, “You are progressing, you are doing your homework, getting good grades, etc.” satisfied the doubt I felt for only about two days. That’s what depression and anxiety do. They tell you that for whatever reason you are not good enough, not worthy enough, don’t have what it takes, and cannot progress past your current status.
I suggest to any who are in college, whether mentally perfect or not, to go to a counselor. That’s what I did… and even remotely facing the issues I constantly denied, it scared the absolute shit out of me but showed me that my future is currently being manufactured by me. I create my future by either acting or not acting upon what I have. My father always says that when facing a hard decision, “You must take what you have, including options and information to make the best decision possible.”
So when I am faced with hard decisions and the anxiety and depression creep into my everyday college life, I sit there, cry a bit, then remember that if I do nothing then my future will write itself. So I elect to write my own future by thinking about how far I have come and how far I can go.