An Open Letter To The College Student With A Mental Illness

An Open Letter To The College Student With A Mental Illness

For every student who feels alone.

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.


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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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You're Not Crazy, Your Seasonal Allergies ARE Worse Than They Normally Are

Between all of these symptoms, I've felt miserable the last week.


We've all been waiting for summer to come, and it's finally on its way. I started putting away my jackets and heavy clothes, and I'm so excited to take out my dresses and bathing suits. Classes are ending for students and we can start the beach trips on these warm, sunny days. What could possibly be wrong with summer coming?

If you have seasonal allergies, specifically to pollen and tree-related allergens, you may be in for a real problem.

In certain states, especially in the northern and eastern US areas, the pollen count is at drastically high levels. So much so that people with only minimal seasonal allergies are having intense reactions, and people who didn't even know they had allergies are having their first reactions.

I've only ever had an itchy nose when seasons change, and only when standing in the middle of lots of plants that would aggravate it. I never suspected my allergies would be making me so sick right now until my physician told me what's going on with this season's allergens.

Since the pollen levels are so dramatic in New York right now, I've had sinus congestion so bad it turned into sinusitis, and a sore throat so swollen and painful I swore it had to be strep. The sinusitis was giving me fevers, aches, and chills, making me feel like I had the flu — all of this traced back to allergies. Between all of these symptoms, I've felt miserable the last week.

Once I started asking around about what my doctor said, several people have told me they're having the same problem with their allergies now. If you're suspicious you may have allergies, get tested and ask your doctor's opinion. It's best to be well-informed on your medical issues so that you'll be prepared if a bad allergy season comes along (like this summer).

If you want to know what the pollen count looks like in your area, go to and allow access to your location — it'll show you a map of the states and their current pollen levels, as well as a specific analysis of the town you live.

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