Where to begin with such a broad subject? It's the nervous/nauseating pit when something doesn't go as planned. It's the constant dread of having to do something you don't want to. It's the sadness that follows a situation gone wrong. It's the thoughts that distract your mind from being able to focus on the present as you worry too anxiously about the future or the past. It's the obsessive compulsive habits you've developed since childhood. It's the erratic mood swings that occur uncontrollably on a daily basis.

Mental illness comes along with a stigma which is "crazy." I am going to state this right here: YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.

Unbeknownst to plenty of people, there are plenty of college students who suffer from some type of mental health issue. That means that every day you will pass at least one or more peer and have no idea that that person is suffering from Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, etc. People tend to stereotype a mentally ill student as one that misses a lot of class or let's their grades slack. That is sometimes the case but not always. Something as basic as homework works as a distraction for just a mere moment in time for that person. A mentally ill person could be president of a club or a student with a constant 4.0 GPA. Society has taught people to treat someone with a mental illness negatively as though that person isn't human. To all of those people who tell people to "just get over it," instead of being an instigator and telling someone to "lighten up" or "smile once in a while" why don't you take a walk in that person's shoes? Why don't you try to live their everyday life? Try to keep up relationships and school work all while feeling like you're being constantly drained of energy for no reason.

To the college student who feels so lost, locked up in your dorm room every day, it's okay to not be okay. But it's not okay to pretend that you are perfectly fine. It's not okay to try to find ways to make your emotions disappear when you know you need help. It's not okay to put yourself down when you know only you can fix the situation that you don't want to deal with. It's not okay to throw yourself pity parties and wonder why nothing changes. Just talk with someone, anyone. Whether you go to a counselor or therapist, or you decide to do it the old fashion way and just talk your feelings out with somebody you trust to confide in, you are helping yourself. It will take baby steps, many baby steps. But, each small step doesn't have to equal two backward if you just keep going.

It's okay if you need some extra help to handle your emotional state whether that means medication or another form of therapeutic healing. Healing is key. You will never be alone no matter how many times you've convinced yourself that you are. Help is a minute away if you really think about it. Stop telling yourself that you are not important in this world. Take a moment to breathe because that is healing in and of itself when you just take a deep breath and channel your inner thoughts. Find a creative outlet such as drawing or painting or just do anything that is healthier than to dwell. Don't try to create a distraction, rather do something that benefits you mentally.

You need to make peace with yourself in all ways. It's true that we are our own worst critics, but that doesn't mean you have to become another statistic on a chart that only a tiny number of people will actually care to take notice of. Be kind to yourself as you only get one body in this life time.

It can be a struggle to be a student who has to deal with such issues everyday, but to those who do it, you are stronger than you will ever realize.



If you have suicidal thoughts or just need someone to confide in and if you are seriously struggling and/or feel too embarrassed to reach out personally, here is a number that I plead with you not to be hesitant to call.

1-800-273-8255