College is supposed to be the best time of your life – or so we are all used to hearing. People speak again and again about the so-called college experience that is unlike anything else one goes through – the time of meeting new friends in droves, trying out new things, finding your place in life, and so on and so forth.
Yet for many freshmen, nothing can be further from the truth. So, if you believe that your problems are going to magically go away simply because you are a college student now, then nope – you remain the same person, and any problems you had before have a tendency to follow you around. Depression and anxiety is a common problem among freshmen, even those of them who have never thought of themselves as prone to these ailments. Yet new environments, isolation, hosts of new challenges and strain do take their toll on everyone. So how does one deal with all this? Let’s find out.
Join an off-campus community
If you don’t feel yourself to be fitting in, the longer you stay on campus, the more it exacerbates this feeling of being out of place. So, if you don’t feel at home on campus, you may find it useful finding a community off it. Join a local church. Find a part-time job. Join an activity-based club. Anything will do as long as you find people you can communicate with the outside of the circle that surrounds you at college. When you suffer from depression, it is vital for staying alert and ahead of the game.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
People suffering from depression and/or anxiety often feel guilty and ashamed of themselves for feeling that way, especially if outwardly they don’t have any reasons to be depressed. College is one place where people are particularly prone to such feelings – after all, it is supposed to be enjoyable, and they do have all these opportunities, so what is there to feel bad about? However, you should remember that your depression isn’t moodiness or ungratefulness. You don’t control it. You don’t choose to be depressed. Contact your college counselor and ask them for help right now.
Get yourself more responsibilities
Getting additional responsibilities is likely the last thing on your mind right now, with the depression and getting used to life in college occupying most of your attention, but one of the ways to fight depression is to keep yourself occupied with immediate duties so as not to get too deep into thought about your situation.
The nature of these duties may be anything you like – from a part-time job at an essay writing service to a volunteering program. In addition to keeping yourself occupied this has another advantage – having to juggle more activities than usual, you will improve your time management skills which will certainly come in handy in the years to come.
Force yourself to do something, anything
The problem with depression is that you, as a person, lose your self-starting mechanism. You are no longer capable of feeling excited about something enough to actually start doing it. However, many people suffering from depression report being able to get into the spirit of the things and enjoy themselves after they get started anyway, either because they were encouraged to do so by somebody else or because they forced themselves to start something.
Your being in college means that you are probably separated from the majority of people who can get you started on something, and it is harder for you to find new friends due to your condition. This means that you are on your own. So make yourself do something. Go to a concert. Take part in a hike. Force yourself to take a walk around town. Try out something you’ve never done before. Anything is good as long as you leave your comfort zone – and who knows, perhaps it will be exactly what you needed to alleviate your depression.
Learn from other people’s experience
Freshman depression is a huge problem, and thousands of people suffer from it – which means that you are by far not the only person going through what you are going through right now. There are many others like you, and many of those who have gone through this experience and emerged victoriously. Look for them and ask for their input. Contact a counselor and ask if he can get you in touch with depression survivors who may help you.
Take things one step at a time
Your depression didn’t come to you overnight, so you cannot hope to get rid of it after making a single effort either. You may feel better one day and again too depressed to do anything the next one. Don’t force it. Buy essays from professional writing agencies if necessary – just don’t let your studies slip. Try to make small changes to your life, and if they succeed, improve on what you’ve already been able to build. Unless you keep things small and simple, you risk feeling too overwhelmed to make any changes at all and get deeper into depression as a result.
College depression as well as anxiety that often accompanies it is no laughing matter. Statistics show that their rates are higher now than ever before. But if you know what you are struggling against and what to do about it, you can do anything.