The Arka Tech

An Open Letter to College Students with Depression & Anxiety

You made it. You’re finally in college. College is about finding yourself, meeting new friends that last a lifetime and the beginning of the rest of your life. So, take a deep breath, relax and enjoy it while you can.

Though that’s easier said than done for the college students who don’t only have anxiety but depression also. And yes, it sucks.

Depression feels like you’re drowning, sinking into an oblivion and no one knows. No one around you can see it. Depression is a cloud that hangs over your head, smothering you and choking you.

Anxiety is being unable to concentrate on anything as your thoughts race in every direction. You’re physically unable to grab a single thought and straighten it out. No matter what, you physically can’t explain what going through your mind. You can’t find any words to describe the thought process that your mind goes through. Anxiety is being unable to breathe as you gasp for breath. Your heart races, your skin feels like it’s being stretched too thin, it itches and for the life of you, you just can’t think. You’re just… numb.

Depression and anxiety, together? I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.

And it’s exactly what I go through.

I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression my sophomore year of high school. After months of therapy, going through counseling and medication, now, seven years later and going into my fourth year as a college student, not once do I regret what I’ve gone through. It took me some time to see my depression and anxiety wasn’t a weakness. I now see it as a strength that I welcome into my life. It’s allowed me to see things with a different perspective and be a voice for people who struggle with finding their own.

I consider myself strong and guess what? So are you. I know it’s harder said than done. Believe me, as a college student who feels the normal stress levels of homework, exams, projects and work on the side, then add on top depression and anxiety, I refuse to let it ruin my college experience. I have all the power. Not my mind, not my anxiety and not my depression. I have the power and so do you. So, promise me that you’ll make the most of your college life.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed and your mind is running out of control, you can’t breathe, you feel alone and like your body is a stranger to yourself, remember this:

  1. You are not alone. You have people that will listen. You have people that love you.
  2. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Do it. Reach out. Don’t feel like you are a burden, because you aren’t. Believe me, I understand how it feels when you think you are nothing but a burden. You’re afraid to ask for help because you don’t want to bother people. That’s your anxiety. Don’t listen to it. It’s a hard emotion to get past but behind your insecurities and anxious thoughts, people are and always will be there for you.
  3. You are stronger than your depression and anxiety. Don’t ever be ashamed of the road you are traveling. You are some of the strongest people to have overcome the hopeless and helpless thoughts and emotions that you feel every day. Don’t let them be a weakness. Grab a hold of it and make it a strength.

You’re a college student now. Whether you came into college with anxiety, depression, or both or it’s something that comes into your life during your college years, don’t let it take power over you. You are more than your mind and you are more than your anxiety.