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How Depression Got To Me In College, And What I Did To Cope

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Depression during your college days is something that hits hard when exams starts looming over the horizon. Sometimes it can become too much. And in tragic cases, students are left with permanent psychological scars that prove troublesome for the rest of their lives. Dealing with depression when studying is difficult without any support from someone who understands you. People who do, however, are usually our peers who are going through the same problems themselves.

The reality is that we always come out the other side and we are usually no worse for wear, even though we lost sleep and anxiety became our best friend for a short period. But how do I cope with deep depression while studying, still manage to get some work done despite the stress, and achieve everything else that comes with it?

The Reasons Why

As far as I can tell, the majority of people going through exam-related depression are the ones who have been slacking off during the semester. Sure, you might not be doing it on purpose. Procrastination is sometimes really hard to resist–we all do it sometimes. But the reason why most of us feel depressed while studying is that we have too much work to do in too short a period of time. Not only that, but we have been avoiding the issue of doing college work on time and clearing our schedule before the exams hit. But this is also only partially true. Mane of us have to deal with tuition costs and pay for everything by ourselves for one reason or another. Not everyone can afford to have a scholarship and take part in side activities on the campus. They have to do well, otherwise they might have to pack up and go home. This is a terrible situation that no one should find themselves in, but it’s the truth nonetheless.

The main reason for college depression however is the feeling of being misunderstood by everyone. Our professors dole out huge amounts of work, our families think we are avoiding them, and our friends feel like we have abandoned them. In reality, we are buried under all kinds of obligations.


Not everything is dark and hopeless, despite how it may look at first glance. People have been finishing college for years before we became students, and will continue to do so for years to come. This means that college is completely doable, but there is a learning curve to it. Everyone needs to reflect on who they are at one point or another, and realise what their capabilities and needs are. This is the first step in discovering what kind of system works best for you, personally.

Finding a way to vent your brain every once in a while is essential in making sure that you don’t lose grip in college. When I really feel like I’m overworking myself, I contact and ask for help with my college papers–it helps me deal with stress a lot. Some other activities or pass-times that you can try out include:

  • Jogging and walking outside to help you get fresh air and think clearly again
  • Listening to soothing music (without lyrics) while lying in bed to help you calm down and focus better
  • Calling your family or friends and talk about your problems, because keeping everything inside will make you feel worse
  • Eating more vegetables and fruit, because fixing your diet is essential in making you feel better
  • Sleeping for at least eight hours a day.
  • Taking regular breaks and stretching your legs, take time off from studying for hours on end, something that makes you nervous and filled with bad thoughts
  • Stop overthinking! Focus on the present and the work you have in front of you; thinking about the future won’t make anything happen before it’s supposed to happen
  • Setting realistic expectations–you know yourself better than anyone; don’t aim too high or too low on your exams and you will find your perfect balance

I used these when I felt like my world was turning upside down, and these tricks work for me personally. You can think of your own ways to get your groove back. There isn’t a clear rule as to how you can go about it, because everyone is unique in their own way.

Coming Out On The Other Side

The best way to deal with deep depression while studying is talking to a senior or a professor who went through the same problems you face. Believe it or not, your professors will be more than willing to help out and talk to you about prioritizing work, give you pointers as to how to study and how to get more done in less time. Moreover, talking will make you realise you are not alone.

The main problem of procrastinating during exam period is that we rarely see the end result that’s coming our way. It’s much easier to fire up a TV show or read a comic book instead of studying or writing papers. We are easily distracted by immediate satisfaction instead of looking at the big picture. Eyes on the prize!


Not coping with college depression can be dangerous. The first step in overcoming it is realising that it’s happening and that you need help. Feeling tense about you exams is perfectly normal, but if you work hard and give it your best, the results will come by themselves.

Don’t be afraid of speaking up if you are under a lot of stress and feel like you need someone to talk to. Keeping it all bottled up could result in bad grades and further misunderstanding from your family and friends. Don’t let that happen! Try to stay a step ahead during the entire semester. It’s the only way to stay productive and positive about college and everything that comes with it.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about the campaign here.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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