When I first started college I was on a high from all the energy and excitement for the new environments, people, and freedom. I was focused on the positive effects that this new world could have on me. However, I never considered the negative parts of the college experience like the pessimistic attitudes I’d come across and how they could affect my mental health.
I’ve suffered anxiety and depression for a long time, probably right at the beginning of high school, but I wasn’t diagnosed until my freshman year of college because I never needed to go to a therapist. My first semester was as amazing as it gets but the stress and negativity that surrounded me in my second semester was so overwhelming that it broke me down and I started experiencing depressive episodes. I started skipping classes and rehearsals, slept more, and ate less. I was at the lowest point of my life. Despite my sadness, I picked myself up and went to the counseling center to realize that my self deprecating thoughts were a result of those who surrounded me and the negativity that had surrounded me since high school. I’m still working on it but I’ve improved so much just by adopting a positive outlook on myself and exclude myself from the wrong atmosphere.
Of course when you read this, I don’t want you to go into college with a ton of walls that no one can break down. It’s just important to remember that it’s easy to be swept up by the parties, clubs, and lack of parental control. You’re at the point in your life when you have to start looking out for yourself more than anyone else. Your most important friends and family will always be there for you but there’s only so much they can do. College is about realizing who you are and falling in love with that person so that you can live your life the way it’s meant to be lived.