Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

Unlearning Perfectionism

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

Of all the things that people tend to find out about me, one fact stands out in particular: I am a perfectionist. It’s written in my star sign (Virgo) and in practically every personality test I’ve taken, from the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to Buzzfeed quizzes. Even if you don’t believe in personality typing or astrology or superstitions, it’s written all over my daily actions.

There are times when it’s helpful to be a perfectionist. My teachers, for example, have praised my diligence since elementary school, so I’ve earned a lot of gold stars for my efforts over the years. But more often than not, I’ve found my perfectionism to be a burden, an obstacle in my daily routines. Yes, perfectionism has led me to score well in school, but I often find myself wondering whether the time I spent triple-checking my papers could have been invested into something more worthwhile, or at the very least more enjoyable.

The thing about perfectionism is that it isn’t a choice. I don’t choose to pick at even the most subtle details and comb through my papers for typos until my deadlines loom before me or I start spiraling into stress and self-deprecation. Perfectionism is a compulsion, a habit, a state of mind that pushes me to predict mistakes in every  situation, that convinces me that something isn’t right until I’ve made sure (multiple times!) that I’ve done everything correctly, that whispers in my mind that something must be wrong if things go too smoothly. Perfectionism is toxic, and most of all, perfectionism is demoralizing. 

A table at a charity book sale that I color-coded because I couldn’t stand the disarray.

I’ve found that unlike what people tend to assume, being a perfectionist doesn’t always mean investing 200% into my work, or writing and re-writing assignments until they reach that impossible golden standard. It doesn’t mean that I ace all of my classes, or that I don’t get tired of trying to do everything without mistakes. A lot of the time, perfectionism is losing the motivation to even get started on a project out of a fear of falling short. Perfectionism is lying in bed all day, thinking it would be better not to try than to prove myself incapable or inferior to the impossible standards I’ve imposed upon myself. Perfectionism is finding myself too afraid to even apply for opportunities that I desperately want, and pretending in the aftermath of missing out that I didn’t particularly want those things anyway. Perfectionism is lying to my friends and family about my goals and ambitions, because confiding in any of them means that I have just another person to disappoint. Perfectionism is choosing inaction.

I used to think that the worst case, in any situation, was failure. Whether that was embarrassing myself in a group activity, or performing poorly on exams, I was overcome with anxiety when it came time for any kind of evaluation. I cornered myself with a projected ideal of myself, an unrealistic version of a “successful” being, and lived under the stress of never being able to measure up. As I grew older and more cognizant of the ways in which perfectionism limits my actions, however, it has become apparent to me that my biggest loss has been the experiences that I backed out of before I could even get started. There are projects, internships, classes, and even relationships that I hid from because I believed that they would spiral rapidly out of control and somehow become a “stain” on my life’s record, proving once and for all that I really am as incapable as I feared. 

I’ve been actively trying to move away from this mental state, convincing myself that things aren’t nearly as disastrous as they may seem. I’ve started with actions of little consequence: checking my papers just twice instead of three times, going on outings in the city without planning every single step, allowing myself to get lost, and assuring myself that I am capable of working things out if they ever do go wrong, though they do so much less commonly than I tend to expect. I allow myself the space to panic or to feel nervous and afraid, but I also try to be stricter about relaxing, as contradictory as that may sound. I remind myself that the world is embroiled in unpredictability, and to hope for control in the midst of it all is a fruitless endeavor. Instead, I ask myself to surrender control, to remain flexible and adaptable to the ways of the world, and to renew my understanding of order within it all. 

There is too much to lose from feeling afraid of falling short. When I expect things to be perfect, I miss out on the world, but the world isn’t going to miss me. It might take a lot of time, effort, and patience, but perfectionism is just a habit. Habits can always be unlearned. 


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By: Fiona Lin

Fiona Lin is a rising senior at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Campus pursuing a double major in Literature and Creative Writing and Art and Art History. She enjoys traveling, drinking tea, and learning new languages. In her free time, you can find her reading web novels or playing video games.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Do They Hate Me?

Monday, June 27th, 2022

Continuing with this notion of persistent thoughts within friendships and what really brings them to the forefront of our minds, I want to center this blog post around the commonly pondered question: do they hate me? 

This heavy question can lead to hours and hours of insecurity and self-doubt. I think for me, this question really comes about because of people’s tone. I can interpret it incorrectly and that misinterpretation can make me believe that my friends actually don’t like me. I feel like I spend most of my time just tearing apart every conversation I have with someone, to make sure the conversation went okay. Then, I turn inward and tear myself apart thinking about certain ways I reacted and what could be misinterpreted on my end to make them not like me. Sometimes I fear that my worst nightmare is coming true, that my friends don’t like me, they just merely tolerate me. Nevermind the fact that the loss of a friendship hurts just as much as, if not more than, a breakup.

I share these inner feelings, not to encourage this spiral of negative emotions that are somewhat baseless in nature but to enter into the conversation that insecurity and overthinking make you live these intense experiences that haven’t happened. So, you feel like you are going through them constantly, grieving things that aren’t lost and hating yourself for things that aren’t outside of your own mind.

Image Credit: https://clipart.world

First, in any type of relationship an individual may feel some sort of anxiety upon the possible fallout because of how fragile relationships can be. No matter how close people are, it can fall apart. Now, that may sound cynical but it is realistic and still a bit dark.

Now, my negative thought process, as I mentioned before, develops from within the tone of a conversation I have with someone. That anxiety further intensifies over a text conversation because I can’t see or read how the other person meant for the text to come across. I automatically revert to assuming everyone is using a passive aggressive or distasteful tone with me because I have convinced myself that everyone is just pretending to like me.

In fact, writer Jon Jaehnig who authored the article, “Why Don’t People Like Me? Thought Patterns And Behaviors With Social Skills” for betterhelp.com discusses this theory, that within friendship we constantly make overgeneralizations based on a handful of bad experiences. These overgeneralizations lead us to project our inner feelings and thoughts onto our relationships with others. Essentially, the negative thoughts and feelings that are within ourselves harm our budding relationships when we assume that they will fail because of past experiences. Often, it is easy to misremember interactions and convince ourselves that we never really had any close friends, which further “proves” our negative and baseless thoughts that are rooted in anxiety.

Although in the past I have feared being alone, I have come to realize that embracing loneliness helps to heal these negative thoughts. Becoming my own friend, in a way, has had a positive impact. It allows me the opportunity to have friendships form in a natural way, and not feel the pressure of past experiences weighing down on them coupled with the pressure of needing people to like me.

A great way to embrace this loneliness is by spending some quality time with yourself! So treat yourself! And if you are in New York City, you can stop by City Glow Beauty Boutique and get 20% off all services when you bring this coupon and your student ID!


By: Ashley Geiser 

Ashley Geiser is a Junior studying English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Pace University. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and Co-President for Her Campus at Pace. She loves reading and editing. And when she is not reading or editing, she can be found baking in her kitchen.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Am I a Good Friend?

Monday, June 20th, 2022

I think, often, within my friendships, I search for a constant and consistent kind of validation. A certain type of validation that’s able to offer reassurance and justification that I am, in fact, a good friend. 

Recently, a friend of mine had been experiencing some anxiety over some recent big changes in their life. While she was talking to me about her feelings and thought processes, I felt that I didn’t really have the capacity to handle the emotional state of the conversation, and I felt that I wasn’t offering enough support. Even if she did just want a listening ear to rant about a current situation that was happening to her, my replies to her stories and shared feelings were usually short and came across as detached, consisting of “that sucks” and “Yeah, oh my god.” Beyond that, I wasn’t really sure I was doing much to be a helpful friend, which led me down a spiral of questioning my ability to actually be a good friend. 

Dealing with emotionally charged conversations or feelings has never really been my strong suit in friendships, and I have become increasingly aware of it. I tend to avoid leaning toward my emotions and instead try and distance myself from the person and the situation. It’s not that I don’t feel any sympathy for my friends; I really do share in the awful things they are feeling and I want to make it better for them. But, at the same time, it makes me uncomfortable and that feeling of discomfort makes me feel like I am falling short as a friend. I just wish I could express in some way, “Hey, I’m glad you feel like you can talk to me about this stuff. But, I’m not the best at handling emotional situations. I’m here for you though and I will continue to support you.” At one point, I actually did reach out to my friend to apologize for my lack of helpful responses and for the insincere tone that came across. I did really care about what she was going through, and I tried to convey that to her.

Image Credit: https://clipart.world

I wanted to delve into why I continue to react in a short and distant manner when it comes to emotional issues or discussions with friends. I strive to understand why this detachment feels like it is out of my control at times. Kimberly Holland, the author of the article “Emotional Detachment: What It Is and How to Overcome It” for healthline.com, describes this idea of emotional detachment as sometimes being voluntary or involuntary and oftentimes used by individuals to set up boundaries within friendships. Holland then goes further in-depth to discuss how emotional detachment can be enacted by choice or as a result of abuse. This detachment can, at times, be a normal method that people use in friendships to conserve their energy. However, it can sometimes be a more severe form of detachment and lead to commitment issues or substance abuse. 

Overall, if I’m aware that I’m not responding to a situation in the best way, to avoid spiraling I remind myself to check in with my friend to make sure I am at least helping them in a way that supports them. But, I also know I need to conserve my own mental health without letting their situation and emotions become my own. And by checking in with myself, I am not allowing the emotions to overwhelm me, and simultaneously, I am showing up for my friend in a way that works for both of us.

A great place to go and maybe have these conversations about boundaries with your friends is Colomba Bakery! And use this coupon to get 20% off your coffee order, when you bring your student ID!


By: Ashley Geiser

Ashley Geiser is a Junior studying English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Pace University. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and Co-President for Her Campus at Pace. She loves reading and editing. And when she is not reading or editing, she can be found baking in her kitchen.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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My Saturday Chai

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

Inexplicable was the only word for it. During the Fall of 2019, I hit the inevitable rough patch that every college student is doomed to undergo. Maybe this seems like a grim generalization to make, but college can be a stress-inducing atmosphere and oftentimes this leads to students feeling overwhelmed. And college in New York? Anxiety can reach new heights. 

I was even more prone to rough patches on arriving back to New York after three months at home and having to reacquaint myself not just with the city but with the specific kind of anxious feelings both New York and college itself could induce in me. I found myself having to work up more energy just to go to class and get my work done, but none of it was any more challenging than the previous year. The stress of living with a stranger was gone now too, as I was living with friends and we all got along well with each other. So why was I so anxious? 

There were moments in which my stomach would form a knot, my breathing would become shallow, and my heart would start racing. I knew I needed help and I was determined to discover the source of my anxiety. Having determined that classes – though still somewhat stressful –  were not the main cause, I looked to everything else in my life. Okay, maybe my living situation was still causing some anxiety. I loved that I was living with my friends, but I still had to get used to what that was like and didn’t want to step on any toes. More and more I also realized how much I still missed home, too. I was starting to like life in New York more so than the previous year, but it still did not provide the same comfort I could get at home. Even after realizing this though, I still felt there was something missing. These things definitely had an effect on me, but I knew they didn’t make up the whole of my anxious feelings. And yet, I couldn’t place it. It was inexplicable.

I could never pinpoint the remaining factor of my stress and anxiety was but I did everything in my power to work myself out of those feelings that had started to dominate my life. Part of that process involved seeing a therapist. If you have access to mental health resources through your university, it is completely worth it to take advantage of them! Sometimes tackling anxiety is a two-man job, and seeing a professional is always a good option. I also did a lot of exploring the city with my friends during this time which always gave me something to look forward to, but when I was feeling too tense to want to go out with them, I’d try to find a way to relieve stress on my own. 

My go-to was The Bean. The small coffee shop that, up until a few months ago, was on the corner of 12th Street and Broadway. It was not the only of its kind but certainly the closest to my dorm. The idea came to me as I was passing it on my walk back from classes one day. Immediately upon seeing its sign I remembered the iced chai that I loved from there and hadn’t had for months. Starting that weekend I began a tradition of waking up a little earlier on Saturdays and walking down to The Bean with a journal and headphones in my bag. After I ordered my drink I’d snag a table by the window, hit play on Spotify, and open my journal.

Unknown, “The Bean Broadway Nyc”, http://newyorkcliche.com/2018/04/11/the-bean-nyc-coffee-east-village/the-bean-broadway-nyc/. Accessed 10 Nov 2020.

Though I typically wasn’t one to journal frequently, I learned just how much of a relief it could bring me. Besides that, I was taking time for myself. The importance of this has only grown on me since then. When I took the time to journal, to let out some of what had been eating away at me throughout the week, I was able to get a moment of relief even if it only lasted for the day. Going to The Bean also functioned as an outing for me in which I could escape from my dorm (and therefore the homework that awaited me, ready to add on more stress). 

And the iced chai. I got it on each visit there and it was always a delight, a small but undoubtedly helpful way in which I could treat myself. Occasionally accompanied by a doughnut or maybe a muffin but perfectly sufficient by itself, my iced chai became the symbol of my personal time, as mundane a thing as it was. 

But chai and journaling are not for everyone. If you find yourself unsure of where to start with taking time for yourself or unsure of what will relax you, here are some helpful tips:

  • Hobbies – If you’re lucky, you are able to keep alive those hobbies from high school that you used to love so much. This was not the case for me, but anything you find enjoyable is undeniably a treat for yourself! If those hobbies have since died away, revive them. The joy they bring is worth the effort you may need to put in.
  • Sleep – It’s simple, but it’s necessary. The rest that comes from sleep has often made me feel just as restored as the journaling I would do at The Bean. Take the nap that you are reluctant to, go to bed earlier or sleep in a little longer. It will give you enough energy to do the work that needs to get done.
  • Fun – Going out on the weekends – whether it’s to museums, concerts, clubs, or something else – is another easy way to let your hair down. Though this was much easier pre- COVID-19, it still worth it if you can do so safely.
  • Food – Definitely my favorite way to treat myself. Comfort food, fancy restaurants, or something you’ve never tried before – take advantage of moments in which you are able to bring yourself a little more ease, even if it’s just by getting ice cream.

Lastly, I want to provide you with an amazing source for learning how to take time for yourself. Click here for more ideas on this from Lifehack. Whatever you choose, simply make sure it is making you happy and giving you even an ounce of relief. Because sometimes treating yourself can be as simple as drinking tea and journaling.

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By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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The Importance of a Brain Roadmap

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Everyone even vaguely interested in anything from self-improvement, procrastination, and healthy living has come across some metaphor mentioning how the mind and body are like cars that run on gas and need to be refueled from time to time. Whether that be fuel or sleep, or healthy dieting, or smart organizational strategies to prevent you from falling into a cycle of avoiding responsibilities until they pile up to extraordinary quantities, you know the drill. But fuel isn’t the only thing a car needs to run properly.

It needs a good driver. It needs someone that knows the rules of the road, that knows the machine and how to operate it, and most importantly, someone that knows where they are going. It’s fine and dandy to be going 60 miles per hour down the highway, until you realized you missed your exit two hours ago. Your brain, body, life, goals, need a compass.

Which is where good introspective time can benefit. Not just as a student, in providing your brain with some rest and clarity, but also as a human, trying to make it in a human world.

Personally? I meditate.  Not necessarily in the old Buddhist monk or American hippie way, but in a more convenient one. I’ll meditate while walking. Actively think while I step, let the rhythms of everyday life hit me in a way that is conducive to good thinking. I’ll stand in the shower sometimes, and just look at the wall, and think for five, or ten minutes. More importantly, I journal. One page, every day. I’ve kept it up, pretty regularly, for almost 3 months now, and I see the progress I am making towards my goals. I’ve finished two full notebooks of dense writing, and at the very least my handwriting has gotten really, really good. But also, I have a creative, and meditative outlet for any emotions I might be holding in, any worries that might be resting on my shoulders. There have been times where I sit down angry and get up calm, or start writing with frustrations and despair creeping in behind my shoulders, only to walk away calm and collected, ready to tackle my day.

My own experiences might not be the most convincing, but the proof is there. Mindfulness and meditation improve not only your physical health, like decreasing your risk of heart disease over time, but also your mental stability by decreasing cortisol levels in both short term and long term practitioners. In fact, mindfulness is one of the key treatment options for patients with depression or anxiety. It is often the first strategy used to try and combat both illnesses. Obviously, it’s not a cure-all, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

As for the journals I keep? The University of Rochester has done extensive studies showing that journals help you prioritize your problems, fears, and objectives, and thus manage your anxiety, or stress levels. They help you focus on what you want, whether that be your life’s ambition, or something as simple as sticking to a healthier diet.

You may already be taking every step you can think of to make your brain and body operate at a higher level. You may be going faster, and stronger than ever before. But if you still feel directionless, lost in the wind? Spend some time mapping out your brain. It could work, you never know.

Sources:

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/benefits-of-mindfulness/


By Victor Galov

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Fighting The Moving Day Blues at NYU

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

When I flew from the Caribbean islands to New York City, I couldn’t bring more than my clothes in three overweight suitcases. My mom, her boyfriend, and I spent two days shopping for dorm necessities at Bed Bath and Beyond. Unfortunately, I  bought things before even seeing my dorm, so I would later discover that many items didn’t fit. 

Arriving on campus on move-in day, I was a bundle of confusion with a racing heart. Parents were scurrying to get their children out of the car and up the stairs to Weinstein Hall’s lobby. As soon as I began loading all of my stuff on to the curb, I noticed and recognized Grace, my roommate at the curb. We chatted. Seeing her nervous face reminding me I wasn’t alone in my anxiety. 

Once Grace and I arrived at our room I became more overwhelmed. Her family and my family were all cramped into our tiny dorm, scurrying around and fixing every minute detail to save us stress. It had the opposite effect for me. Seeing everyone racing around the tiny space, opening boxes, making opinions, increased my claustrophobia in this tiny room.

I needed to get out. My mom, her boyfriend, and I headed back to Bed Bath and Beyond, but we found more chaos there. The whole freshman class were rushing to find the products they needed before someone else found them first. Eventually we escaped and headed back to my dorm. Then my mom and her boyfriend left me so I could finish up the unpacking at my pace, while my roommate was out to lunch with her parents. I put on some music. Finally, I could relax in my new space and create it exactly how I wanted to, without people throwing their opinions at me.

When I finally finished organizing I laid down. I was in my dorm in the greatest city in the world, the city I had dreamt of living in for as long as I could remember. I would make the most out of my four years here.

Weinstein was holding an Ice Cream Social in the lobby.  I have never been a social person, always waiting for someone else to spark a conversation with me. From across the room I saw two freshman boys both dressed in stylish dark colors. I was too scared to approach them though, so I sat still and hoped my nerves would fade. Then suddenly, someone asked if I wanted to play Uno. I looked up to see the two boys from across the room. They were Eric and Javi. We played Uno before going to the Bed Bath and Beyond party to dance and sing the night away.

Why was I worried about making friends? Everyone is in the exact same boat when entering college with the desire to make friends. Not everyone you meet in college is going to be your best friend, but it is nice to be acquainted with people, to smile or wave as you pass by each other on the street.

Eric and I became closer in the days that followed. He introduced me to Melody, his high school friend from California, then she introduced me to Kaitlyn. Now all of us, Grace, Javi, Eric, Kaitlyn, Melody and I, hang out almost every single day. I always wondered what would have happened if Eric didn’t approach me to play Uno that night. I wouldn’t have been introduced to Javi, Melody, and Kaitlyn. Fate brought me a caring, creative group of individuals.

Remember

  1. Know your space before you try to fill it. See your dorm room before spending hundreds of dollars on it.
  2. Stay open towards new people. They share the same fears and anxieties with you on their first day.
  3. If you don’t meet a ton of people at first don’t worry about it. The friends you make will introduce you to more friends in the future.

By Solana Joan Suazo


Solana is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt, studying art and psychology. Solana spends many hours walking around lower Manhattan with her friends, sketching in the park, or finding new inspirations for her art around the city. When she isn’t playing volleyball or meditating, she’s usually watching Game of Thrones with her roommate, daydreaming about California beaches and buys, or painting a new picture for art class. She loves coffee, chocolate, and ramen, of course.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Psychotherapy and Me

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Henri Matisse's The Goldfish

Henri Matisse’s The Goldfish

“I’d like a hug,” I decided on my last day. We proceeded to discuss the details of our hug – where we would place the arms, when to terminate the embrace, how tightly we would hold each other. After agreeing on my comfort level, I stood and hugged her, a tad tighter than we had initially agreed on.

We pulled apart and she asked, like a typical therapist, “What are the tears in your eyes about?”

Tear ducts unabashedly hot, I replied, “I don’t know; what are your tears about?”

My therapist was crying. She was crying for me, for the progress I’ve made in the past three years, for the impending separation to come. My time with her was not over – I still planned to have a session every month – but everything from this point on will be different. That much, we both knew and expected.

A week into college life in New York City, and yes, everything has changed. My cat doesn’t mewl for food every morning. The night is noisier, both in and out of my head. I’m surrounded by strangers who all seem like they’ve got it together. I miss the convenience and privacy of my room, long drives while blasting music, and the Henri Matisse Goldfish painting that hung on my therapist’s wall. Everything is different, including me.

Four years ago, depression plagued me. It seemed the only things I enjoyed were sleep and razors, constant worrying, and constant headaches. When I began seeing my therapist, I was an ugly, unromantic mess. I said, “I can’t imagine myself not having depression.” Depression was a parasite that scarred my arms, legs, and cheeks. I weighed on my few friends until they broke and left me, exhausted by my exhaustion.

Four years ago, I could have never survived my first hectic week at New York University. Though self-doubt never quite disappears, it has diminished greatly over the course of recovery, helmed by my therapist. Without her, my ship would have been smashed to bits on the reef. Without her, I would not have found the willpower to brave my way through life’s complexities and simplicities.

Living the college life with depression is precarious. Many young adults have not reached any level of self-comfort yet. Many suffer undiagnosed. This is why I urge everyone who suffers from even mild symptoms of depression and anxiety to reach out for help – be it through college or through local connections. Don’t let the stigmas of therapy and mental illnesses prevent you from getting the professional help you need and deserve.

The poster of Henri Matisse’s Goldfish on my dorm room wall is a reminder that therapy can (and already has) helped me thrive during the overwhelming college experience. These days have the potential to become the most wonderful days of your life – don’t let yourself drag you down.

In a series of eight blog posts, I will discuss what I have learned throughout my journey through depression, and how I have overcome my demons. With a little advice and self-help, maybe you can, too.


 

ChristelleMarie Chua, New York University ’18

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