Deadlines. Workload. Assignments. – the never-ending juggles of a college student’s life.
Professional students, they say. The education system makes sure that so-called professional students are treated worse than school students. The school students are at least some way or the other, spoon-fed by their parents and teachers. But professional students are “adults”, they are responsible for their decisions and actions. Asking for advice leads to a provocative comment widely known as “grow up!”.
After the highly pressurised board exams and admission procedures and the anticipation for desired allotments, college life seems more appealing than ever. High expectations of freedom and fun college life, party nights and fests seem very exciting to a freshman.
The reality crashes in like a hurricane after a month of college life, especially if you are an introvert. The walls of the hostel rooms prompt you to flick through your Instagram posts so that you can keep track of the fun others are having. You are included in the night outs only if you are manipulative, funny or rich! Homesickness is another dilemma. You can’t just go up to your friends saying that you miss your family. They mock you for being such a baby.
You just don’t want to share your troubles and anxiety with your family during those routine calls, so you only have yourself to share feelings with.
Money matters more than anything else. You would love to go out for a film with your gang but end up saying that you have a headache since the hostel fee is due this month and you cannot call up mom asking for more money. And the consequences? You end up missing out on all the fun and keep staring at the stories they have posted. Cursing your life isn’t something new here.
Moving onto another scenario is that of the pressurised attendance at college. You’re an adult and you can make your own decisions. Well, why not curl up in your bed when you just don’t feel like going? Yeah, right. Here comes the next drama of submitting medical leave letters and doctor’s prescriptions. Is the faculty going to permit me a sick leave because I’m mentally exhausted? Which doctor is going to prescribe me a medical certificate to spring out of that situation, I wonder. Can’t blame the institute too, because let’s face it, perks are often misused.
Passions don’t matter unless you have a professional undergraduate degree in engineering or medicine or in the field of commerce. If your parents agree to your decision of flourishing as a writer, step one is completed. Step two comprises the grand entry of relatives and family friends who have all had failed acquaintances in the field of literature.
And that leads to the collapse of step one.
These might seem like small problems to deal with, but what if all the relatives come for a visit simultaneously? That’s when things get out of hand. Every little thing provokes your temper and irritates you.
Get ready to welcome a new member, depression.
You may be one of them or you might know someone battling it. They tend to stay quiet and feel vulnerable to grief all the time. Their mind tells them to push everyone away to fathom their thoughts and to gain a normal composure, but their heart urges for a shoulder to lean on.
They might have a lot of friends but they aren’t comfortable to confide such matters among closed ones because no one understands them better than another depression struck individual. They lose sleep, their diet becomes sloppy and thus, their physical health also weakens. Asking them to get out of that zone, even with good intentions, might lead to the worst. They don’t need anyone to give them solutions, they just want someone to pour their heart out to.
Would the faculty spare some time to listen to their problems? Well, never.
Education overweighs petty issues, they say. “Talk to your family and friends, you’ll be fine,” they remark. Mental health is taken for granted.
Organisations and committees are not what is required. People exist to help each other out. Don’t ridicule them and underestimate them as ‘just moody’. They are just going through a phase which isn’t their fault. If you come across people struggling with depression, understand them and don’t begin to blabber positive thoughts and a “we are there for you” propaganda. Let them know you are here for them, not just by supportive statements. Get them something to eat. Take them for a walk. Give them their space. Help them out with their assignments and lab records. Help them take a long nap.
Care. Nurture. That’s all that it takes.