Yes, I Get Stressed And Very Sad, No, I Don't Have Depression

Yes, I Get Stressed And Very Sad, No, I Don't Have Depression

No, I don't feel helpless or hopeless. No, I don't have a loss of interest in daily activities.

Recently I wrote an article about how I have a lack of motivation to do homework for my college classes, but I still get grades on the higher end of the spectrum.

Which, in most situations is the case for students in any type level of school. I posted this article on my Facebook page, and some family members and family friends texted my dad that I have depression because I'm losing interest in my day-to-day life.

Yes, I do the same routine every day; wake up, go to my classes for the day, do homework, eat, and sleep. Yes, I might have a loss of energy and might get irritated by things more. No, I don't feel helpless or hopeless. No, I don't have a loss of interest in daily activities.

I get stressed over homework and work, it's a part of being human and a college student. I have a lot on my plate. Most of my time is spent doing homework, sitting in a class, and working, but I always find time to hang out with friends or do something fun. Just because I might sleep less at night and want to sleep more during the day so I can keep up with school, doesn't mean that I'm losing interest in daily activities. If that was the case, I wouldn't even wake up to go to my classes. My loss in energy and being irritated more is coming from the lack of sleep and never having enough time alone to recoup myself.

I don't isolate myself from people. I work my butt off to get the things I need to get done weekly, done. Yes, sometimes I get frustrated and stressed and might shed a few tears but that's how I cope with it.

I can't do homework because I'll keep thinking about what I need to do, I can't try and fall asleep because yet again I'll keep thinking of what I have to do. I get sad over everything I have to do, but I'm not hopeless that things won't change and get better; a way for me to go to class and work and get enough sleep.

A person is not depressed because they would rather sit in their room all day watching Netflix and sleeping rather than doing homework and being productive. It's called procrastination. People use the word depression so lightly, saying things like how you spending all that alone time can lead to depression or "I'm so depressed because my favorite characters from 'Grey's Anatomy' died." I promise you that people that have depression don't go around flaunting it because to them it's not something to flaunt.

So yeah, I get stressed and would rather stay at home sleeping or watch Netflix then go to school or work. But no, I'm not depressed or losing interest in my day-to-day life, I'm just tired.

Cover Image Credit: Naomi August

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.

Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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Trying Not to Drown

He has a decision to make: her friendship or his depression.

He is drowning. But he is not drowning in water or quicksand or any other tangible substance. He is drowning in his thoughts, which is the thick black tar the clings to his brain. It multiples quicker than cancer cells, toxifying the body, consuming itself. He can’t breathe under the crushing sludge of “you’re not good enough,” “you’re not doing enough,” “you are not enough.” It weighs him down, stitches his skin to his powder blue bed sheets. He is not going to get up today. It has been decided. If he were to get up now, he would surely ruin today with his presence.

Perhaps he was being overdramatic with a dash of self-obsession. Truth is, the world could care less about his inability to get out of bed. He can’t decide if that’s worse.

He turns to look at his phone for the eleventh time in his very short span of wakefulness. The time is different, but the reminder is still there: April’s Birthday Party. He tosses himself away from the phone and its mocking glow. April used to be his best friend until approximately two weeks ago, when he royally screwed up by trying to kiss her. He got rejected, of course. And if he had just left it at that, everything would have been fine. But everything is not fine because once again he had self-destructed, like he did anytime someone got too close to him. He’s tried unsuccessfully (and thankfully) to self-destruct their friendship before, and it never stuck. But this time, this time he knew exactly what to say after the kiss/rejection that would really feed her biggest insecurity, which was the fact that her mom left her when she was five years old.

He curls into himself. He feels like pond scum. Why did he say something so cruel? Why does he need to keep everyone away? Because he doesn’t deserve her? He never thought he deserved someone as fiery, determined, and passionate as April is. She firmly believes she can change the world and is stubborn enough to do it. He flops onto his back and stares at the ceiling. He silently asks it to have mercy on him, but it stares back indifferently.

He doesn’t know how he got to her doorway, let alone how got out of bed. But he’s here, maybe because some sick part of him wants to heap on more punishment. Or maybe because the sane part of him is still trying to fight for a chance at redemption. Or maybe that’s the crazy part of him talking? He shakes his head. Best not to dwell on it, or his thoughts will drown him right there on her doorstep. He knocks timidly, part of him (maybe the sane part, maybe the crazy part) doesn’t actually want her to hear it. She does, of course, because April has the hearing of a moth. It’s a little-known fact that moths actually have better hearing than bats. He is full of useless facts like this. He also knows that on Groundhog Day back in the late 1800s people originally hunted and ate groundhogs. But that isn’t important at the very moment, when April opens the door and sees him cutting up space with his boney shoulders and his painfully awkward attempt at a friendly grin. “Happy Birthday, April.”

She crosses her arms in a cartoonish way and juts her hipbone out like a weapon. “I’m still mad at you.”

He looks at the ground and mumbles to it. “Oh, okay. Well, I just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday.” Awkward pause. Awkward pause. “I’ll leave you alone forever now.” He starts to turn away. But she stops him with a hug.

“You know, I can be mad at you and still love you at the same time, you dork.”

He is not expecting this, and as a result he doesn’t return the hug right away. His hands are doing the equivalent of a car that doesn’t know whether or not to speed up or stop at a yellow light before it finally settles on a soft halt behind her shoulders. Before he can really enjoy the embrace, she steps away. “Besides, now you can spend all sorts of time making it up to me.”

He smiles for real this time. “Gladly,” he says, grateful that the sludge in his brain has not scared her away and all the more aware how close he was to losing her. He decides at that very moment that he is going to keep trying to swim instead of allowing himself to drown.

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