Let's Make Our Generation Happy Again

Let's Make Our Generation Happy Again

It's time to stop joking around about mental illness.
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We all say how depressed we are. We all say how anxious we’re feeling. We say all of these things to describe the levels of our stress without realizing the magnitude of our words.

However, when a college student says she feels depressed, we should not dismiss this as she’s probably just having a bad day. Mental health among college students is not something we can continue to ignore. According to Healthline, one out of every four college students has a mental illness. Forty-four percent of college students report having symptoms of depression, yet 75 percent of students do not seek help.

All of our universities have resources. Counselors sit waiting to talk with struggling students about their worries and want to help. Unfortunately, students don’t utilize these resources.

Why? Probably because of the stigma that comes with the phrase "mentally ill."

Nobody wants to be considered ill and nobody wants to feel weird. Society has tried to normalize mental illness by regularly using terms like bipolar disorder and depression to describe normal behaviors. If our friend seems moody, rather than asking “what's been bothering you today,” we ask “why are you being so bipolar?” If our little brother seems sad, rather than asking “what's upsetting you,” we ask “why are you depressed?”

We're all guilty of this. Just because you refer to someone as depressed doesn't mean you had bad intentions, but your words can have a greater impact that you could ever imagine. By using serious mental illnesses to joke or tease, we make it so much harder for those actually suffering to be taken seriously. Because these words are tossed around in our current society, when a friend legitimately confides in you that they're feeling depressed, you don't immediately think they need medical help.

You will probably write them off in your head as over exaggerating and assume that just talking to them about why they're sad and uttering a few cliches like “it will get better” or “I'm sorry” will make it all better. Sadly, this is sometimes not the case.

Stress is at an all-time high and life is not going to get easier any time soon. It's time to stop joking around, take advantage of the mental health services available to us, and make our generation happy again.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Wrinkles Are Actually Good: Body Positivity Includes Aging

Think about it. It is mind-boggling how we apologize for aging.

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Admittedly, it is peculiar for me, a teenager, to be writing on this topic. But, I see a fallacious inconsistency within the self-love movement that must be addressed by someone. And I like my self-love like I like my feminism: intersectional and available for all.

The trend of body positivity, imperfect as it is, often times neglects to appreciate the beauty of years in physicality. Particularly in the United States, ageism is prevalent. So as a person who will be getting wrinkles in the next few decades, I wanted to stick up for something that you and I will have to face later: ourselves in the mirror.

Time rolls by without concern for how humans feel. It is, by definition, uncontrollable. Therefore, it is mind-boggling how humans apologize for aging. It is the moment to realize that no responsible choices or face creams can stop time or the inevitability of the emergence of lines on your face.

That sentiment doesn't mean we should frown at wrinkles in defeat. We ought to welcome them and the grey hairs and whatever else comes naturally. The smile lines or eye crinkles are not damning pieces of evidence that criminalize you for growing old nor are they the start of the end of your reign as an attractive person.

Wrinkles disclose a wonderful story about you. They can be your tiger stripes or they can act as a map of your journeys around the sun.

Do you think you get deep laugh lines without having a good time? Of course not.

Do you think those creases on your forehead happen without all that diligent brainpower you used while studying late into the night in pursuit of your aspirations? Again, no.

Every wrinkle on your face has a purpose and a delightful origin tale. The places you've been and the lives you've touched are reflected in you. Generally speaking, the "body-posi" movement has failed its mission by glossing over many stigmatized physical features including (but not limited to) aging in favor of more marketable quirks to love about bodies. They laud curvy (but not too curvy) bodies rather than bodies that are just as valid to praise.

So yeah, this article might be strange to write given that I am nineteen and the age demographic for Odyssey users is college-aged adults. However, you can still get something valuable out of reading this piece! I hope to call you to action. Be prepared to cherish yourself when the wrinkles come (because they will). Better yet, next time your mom says something negative about her wrinkles in the mirror, prove to her that it's truly fine to age!

All in all, new features on your face are always additives that give you character. Adore them and welcome them like you have adored and welcomed the experiences that gave you those wrinkles in the first place.

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