A Conversation for Depression and College Students

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Post 1


This article brings me back to my college days, when I had a particularly bad year in my second year. I never had such an experience before, and I was thus totally unable to cope with it. I used to ask myself "How could I be feeling so bad, when nothing particularly bad has happened to me?", and the more I dwelled on this, the worse I felt. Anything even slightly negative happening to me would be multiplied in my mind a thousand times. I pretty much withdrew from everybody, and very nearly failed my exams.

I went to a councellor in college, but her advice was the equivalent of "cop yourself on, you've had it easy in your life so far, so it's just too bad". Maybe it was because other kids had much worse things in their life, but it didn't particularly help me at the time.

What I found helped me more than anything was joining a club on public speaking (Toastmasters). I was always interested in developing my ability to speak in public, so it was a natural fit and I found the people there very friendly and supportive. My depression did not disappear immediately, but over time, perhaps a few months (it's always hard to gauge) I began to get back to my own self again. Later, I changed some aspects of my life such as the friends I associated with (not because there was anything wrong with the friends I had originally, just because I found it so hard to relate to them, and there were others whom I found it easier to relate to).

After I graduated from college my world changed completely and thankfully nothing has ever come close to those years. I think I discovered a lot of things about myself then - experience is a hard teacher. I hope that since then, college authorities have wised up more to this particular downside of college life.

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