As I'm going through the last semester of my senior year in college, I think to myself "How have I not completely lost my sh*t yet?" There have been times where I thought I was, but took a deep breath and saw the bigger picture in everything.
Some people can't see the bigger picture. Some people drop out. Some people have anxiety attacks and don't leave their beds for days at a time. We have been conditioned since a young age that college is the right route and that everyone should get a college degree of some sort.
Even when playing "The Game of LIFE" I felt obligated to choose the path towards getting a degree.
College is a great thing, a wonderful thing in fact, and I have learned so much about myself and broadened my education. This isn't an article about bashing college or saying that you shouldn't go, I'm just attempting to highlight the not-so-great factors that are involved with the college experience.
That's why I'm writing a book about the negative impact college has students.
You always hear about the POSITIVE aspects of college such as the smiling pictures of friends at parties, or sharing that you got put on dean's list for the third semester in a row. (Which is amazing if you've done this, props to you.)
An underrated subject that is not talked about so often is the mountains of anxiety that college brings that could eventually lead to depression. Students have the feeling of constantly having to succeed at everything from classes, work, social life, family, boyfriends, girlfriends and the list goes on and on.
Especially with social media — students are constantly comparing themselves to other people's successes. They feel as if they aren't doing the right thing or that they should be doing more with their life.
Then you have student loans which are another negative factor. I have heard of people that are currently in $80,000 of debt because they went to college. This adds such unwanted anxiety, and constant fear of "How am I going to pay this all off?" or "I guess I don't really need my other kidney?" (Just kidding, but you get the gist.)
I'm gathering multiple personal stories from college students regarding their current mental state, and how college contributed to it. So far, I have had a variety of current students, alumni, and people who have dropped out that have reached out to me and share their experiences.
I hope to speak to other people from different schools other than IU, along with professors, therapists, parents and more to get their perspective on the subject.
If you know of anyone that would be willing to speak to me about their personal college experience and share their story please send them my way and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
If published, this will all be 100% confidential and I will give you a name like Sally instead, or I will even let you pick a name.