Relax, it's normal to suffer college depression. Don’t beat yourself up just yet. Simply stop and take a look at what you’ve been doing with your life. You’re away from home, you’ve got the demands of grades and paper deadlines, you’ve got financial worries and with meeting new friends and staying up way too late – your body can begin to shut down! If you’ve also experienced more drugs and alcohol around you and perhaps have dabbled or divulged in it, that only makes it worse.
The fact is, college depression happens with all the new changes in your life. Now, you’re becoming your own adult with new choices, new friends, new responsibilities, new demands for your time and academic performance. You’re on a runaway train and you haven’t had any time to stop and ponder it carefully.
When was the last time you sat quietly? When was the last time you didn’t feel stressed?
What about all those all-nighters? Messing up your sleep schedule like that leads to college depression. Your bodily clock is misfiring.
When I was coaching college women’s volleyball, one of my athletes came to me sharing that she was struggling. She was a talented athlete and student but the hectic schedule of classes, games, practices and lack of sunshine (winter time is rainy season on the West coast) got the best of her. She no longer enjoyed herself at college.
First off you need a proper schedule. Don’t leave your assignments to the last minute. Break them down into segments. I would plan my schedule out at the beginning of every semester by writing down all my due dates on my calendar with the assignment and what percentage of my grade they were worth. Then I knew how much time to spend on them.
Secondly, you need to pay proper attention to your diet and exercise. What are you eating in that dorm room? Get rid of all that junk and get yourself some healthy snacks. Make sure you do simple exercises to get rid of your college depression. Read our report to learn more.
Thirdly, get to bed at a decent hour. I was a busy student in college with lots of friends who always wanted to do stuff late at night. Without them realizing it, I began to invite them to do stuff earlier in the day to accommodate my desire to get to bed at a decent time (before 11pm) BUT also to train them how to properly get exercise during the day and get to bed at a decent time too. If any of my friends were overweight and unhealthy, they usually lost weight and adopted healthy habits. No kidding. I helped girls in my dorm lose 15-25 pounds so when they went home, their family was astonished that their ‘freshman 15’ was long gone! (Okay, this also goes with point number two on exercise).
Fourthly, plan a personal budget for yourself keeping track of your expenses and income (if any - that's college life!). Then you’re not stressed at the end of every semester when you’re counting pennies.
Fifthly, talk to someone to help you through all of the big steps I just mentioned. Choose someone you trust to keep you accountable and encourage you and someone who is good at listening. Talk with the college counselor about your college depression or meet with someone off campus or speak with your Resident Director if you’re in the dorm. If your family is supportive, confide in them so they know to encourage you too.
Bottomline. Stop and recognize that you are not invincible and you need to take care of your body and mind at college. Here are 6 effective strategies to implement while at college.
There is hope! You are worth it!
Don't give up on yourself!
-Merri Ellen :)