“Aren’t wishes just broken dreams?
Dreams that we devour in our sleep
Because nights are just sad hours
When we play with lost memories;
Brooding over happy tragedies.”
As the weather seems to simmer down with the end of September and we get obsessed with the quintessential fall aesthetic, the stressful part of college seems to boil up (and you thought it would be all sugar and spice and everything nice). Internal assessments, assignments and keeping a secure attendance percentage dashed with society work can seem stressful as you battle deadlines and regret.
In today’s era of extreme productivity and fast paced lifestyles, we often ignore many important things that we eventually sideline. The current scenario of mind boggling competition is such that we have slowly internalized capitalism and we consider any form of rest procrastination. We often ignore our mental health issues and eventually numb them down to nothingness while we thrive on caffeine and anxiety. Not giving importance to your mental health can be detrimental to your day to day life, and sometimes, even fatal.
Yes, college is tough. And it would not get easier any sooner. But suppressing what you really feel is not an option either. Firstly, let us make this one thing abundantly clear, “MENTAL DISORDERS ARE REAL AND VALID AND THEY REQUIRE MEDICAL HELP.” Apart from the wokeness, our generation is severely affected by mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, personality disorders and such. Needless to say, we do not take healthy measures to deal with them.
The most essential step you can take is by talking about it with someone; a friend, a counselor, a family member or anyone you trust and listens to you. When you talk about it, you feel lighter; as if some kind of baggage has been lifted away from you. You introspect and realize clearly how you can deal with your obstacles. Sometimes all you need is someone who listens to you and sympathizes, or even better, empathizes. When you put it out there and reach out for help, things do get better. You have someone to count on and someone you can call out for help. However, you need to learn the difference between counting on someone and depending on someone for everything (because even that person who seems to fix everything requires fixing). At the end of the day, you’ll have to fight your battles alone.
If talking to someone is a little too much for you, there are other ways to express yourself. Start maintaining and writing a journal so you can let out insights and thoughts regarding day to day situations as to contemplate and introspect. Or just write in general, it does not have to be on regular basis, only on days when you feel low and want to rant things out. You can draw, scribble, sing or even dance it out. These creative ways can help you create a safe space for yourself where you can express yourself without any fear of judgment.
If you feel extremely overwhelmed, please get in touch with counselors and therapists or any mental health help lines. Considering the way our society (including our parents sometimes) deals with the concept of mental disorders and suppressed trauma, you will have to gather courage to seek help. Often, many students rely on toxic habits such as drug abuse and self harm. THIS IS NOT THE OPTION. There is no shame in talking about your feelings. What you feel is completely valid and you deserve to be heard.
Please don’t be afraid or shy to ask others for some personal space of your own. In today’s culture of social media and popularity, we are always surrounded by people, whether we like it or not. So disconnect for a while and get some space for yourself. Take your time and breathe. Indulge in self care! Eat that pizza you have been waiting so long for; take as many naps as you want to compensate for the sleep you deprived yourself of; cry if you want to so you can let it out and think instead of over think with a clearer mind. No, you are not entitled to ask for some personal space! The concept of personal space should not be that hard and “weird” to understand.
Don’t let all your work pile up for one single moment. Take time. It can be hard to concentrate but eventually you will have to take few steps towards your ambitions. Take a break if it makes you feel better, but do focus on the things which are important, such as your education, your internship or anything else you are passionate about. Small steps each day will eventually lead you towards better outcomes.
So this time, no “we” but instead an “I” because the writer has a personal message for all those who are going through their issues. Believe me, you are not alone. I know what it feels like to be in a situation where you feel nothing but incompetent. But hey kid, you are enough! You are more than enough! Stop believing the things you tell yourself at three in the morning. And no I won’t tell you that things will get better, because let’s be honest it’s a mess out there. But one thing is true, you will get stronger and you have no idea what opportunities are waiting for you. Stop being so hard on yourself. You will make it, step by step. Till then, take care and stay strong.