As a college student, mental health is crucial to ensuring that you succeed in your studies and making the most out of your college experience. I think that as a performance major there is even more at stake when there is always a constant reliance on emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
I never realized that I had depression-like symptoms until the end of Fall ‘20. The lack of motivation, the numbness, always feeling tired, wanting to spend my days laying in bed. It all felt like long, never-ending days of dread and nothingness. My depression made it difficult to stay focused in my classes and practice as a vocalist. Studio classes, lessons, ensembles, aching classes, and dance classes were nothing to me. I felt at odds knowing that I majored in Lyric Theater to follow my passions and get better at something I love to do yet I did not want to be in those classrooms and learn anything. I felt guilty in my lack of motivation and desire of wanting to physically be in those classes and practice my art. Everything I was feeling was so new to me yet at the same time fairly similar to past feelings I have felt.
Everything that I felt slowly started to make sense to me and what I might be going through. I reached out to the counseling center, discussed the constant battles and hopelessness I felt to which they expressed their concern of depression-like symptoms that I have been experiencing. That first moment of meeting with my counselor was a sigh of relief while it made me even more anxious about becoming more aware of my current mental state. I continued meeting with my counselor when they further instructed me to meet with someone at McKinley to receive more help. After my appointment, I was quickly prescribed antidepressant medication and after three days, I started to feel like my ridiculous, hard-headed, motivated self. My depression has thrown me into a dark, never-ending spiral of nothingness that the resurgence of myself felt odd. It was during a voice lesson that I suddenly realized how I actually felt emotions and motivation to be there and attend my class. Words can’t describe how great this feeling was and how this feeling has been sustained since then.
I want to dedicate these last few paragraphs to the nitty-gritty of this blog post. I hope that whoever is reading this understands that this summarizes my past and current experiences with depression and that depression takes on different forms and impacts people in various ways. I hope this blog post pushes whoever is reading to prioritize their mental health and well-being throughout life no matter what stage they’re at. As a current college student and lifelong student overall, I have learned that taking care of yourself is a huge deal-breaker in succeeding in academics and life in general. I would say my key takeaway from this is to love and be kind to yourself. Please take care of yourself!