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    "You are much deeper, much broader, much brighter than any idea you could have of yourself."
    Harry Palmer, posted by Daniel

seeking33

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I'm a senior in college, and I just survived THE Semester From Hell. My workload spiraled out of control resulting in me temporarily quitting my on-campus job, I had several field work sites I had to run around to every week without the benefit of my own car, and the professors I had were big-time bullies. I had 2 prof's that co-taught my hardest class, and they had no qualms about failing students for things like having absences or late arrivals NO questions asked (a problem when relying on public transportation in blizzard conditions) We worked under fear of severe penalty/automatic failure, and treated more like children than intelligent adults. By this I mean assigned seats every week, ALL assignments and projects chosen for us, and even physical control/restriction of movement within the classroom. I found these practices to be very degrading and demoralizing. Every student who has taken that class has given me a horror story, and now I know why!

The same applied to grading policies and if the prof. didn't like you, beware! I suspect that my penalty for missing the first day of class was my being given the wrong instructions for a final assignment and the subsequent loss of credit had I not raised a stink.

Essentially, it was 16 weeks of feeling like I had a gun pressed to my back to do my work. One long adrenaline rush...to the point that I developed weekly migraines that sent me home sick to my stomach. It didn't help that I had a major scare at work and narrowly avoided serious injury or worse when a metal filing cabinet fell on me and *guess what?* I had to miss class.

On top of all this, my field work placement went horribly wrong thanks to the school messing up my paperwork, and other red tape issues that very well could prevent me from graduating in a timely manner...and I've been working on my bachelor's for almost 6 years and counting.:( I can't shake the frustrated feeling that no matter how hard I try, things are thrown in my path to stop me. I take all the right steps as prescribed by college advisers and officials, but everything still gets screwed up by utter carelessness.

It hit me coming home from my on-campus job one day: The mere thought of going back for another semester made me nauseated and anxious with a feeling of impending doom. I couldn't care less if I never went back again to finish my degree. Yet I'm financially obligated to. This is really the only thing keeping me there. If I didn't have to immediately start paying back my debt, I'd take a loooong vacation. Even if I had to work in a burger joint! I've lost all enthusiasm for the college experience long ago. I've lost my love of learning because of this recent experience. I just don't care.

The scary thing is, I'm on summer break and it's been over a month and I'm completely depressed. I should be out having fun and doing things, not staying in the house all by myself all day. But the energy just isn't there. It's as if I simply don't know what to do with myself if I'm not running around frantically loaded down with work. There's schoolwork, more work, and then an empty void. Last week I stayed home and cried my eyes out on a beautiful day when I should have been having fun. Obsessive, unpleasant thoughts keep intruding on me. A tragedy will happen on the news and I'll dwell on that and related unpleasant content all day. If I find morbid images on the Internet, I can't look away. I keep thinking about failing and I can't see anything for my life beyond college. Just a big blank.

I should be looking forward to possibly landing a real job soon and instead I'm scared and depressed. While I have lovely co-workers, I partially hate my job because it means spending all day on campus (a place I'm starting to despise), and the I know the money I earn won't make even a small dent in my debt. I will also be required to stop working during my final year when I begin student teaching. I love being in the classroom with the kids, it's just the process of getting there that I can't stand. I get angry at small things that normally are mildly annoying, and I have little patience for people. They just make me mad!

I'm just very, very unhappy with my life right now.
 

Retired

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Does your institution provide Student Health Services, where you could be seen by someone in the Mental Health Service?

Sometimes it helps to speak to a mental health professional who can provide some insights into why the work become overwhelming, and suggest ways to make it manageable.

Have you ever sought out the aid of a mental health professional?
 

seeking33

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I would, if it weren't for the stigma that seeing a "head doctor" implies. My family tends to have a negative attitude towards therapy and mental illness. I mean, of course college is stressful. I should be able to just deal with it, right? I should be able to control my thoughts, feelings, and reactions at all times. And if I can't deal with it, it's because I'm either weak or too lazy to accept "life".

As much as I want to talk to someone, I can't...
 

David Baxter

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Why does your family need to know? As Steve said, many colleges have student health services that include counseling. I would urge you to look into this.
 

ThatLady

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I, too, encourage you to look into what is offered by your student health services. Stress is something that many people suffer with from time to time. Because you're stressed to the point of near-explosion doesn't mean you're "crazy". It means you're human. It's your body's way of giving you a hint that you need to reach out to get some help and support. It's not something your family needs to know anything about, if you feel they will be unfairly judgemental of you. You need to do this for you!
 

Daniel

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seeking33

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The study found that one of the biggest predictors of whether a student sought help was socioeconomic background — -students who reported growing up in poor families were almost twice as likely not to seek help. Poor students were also much more prone to symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.
Bingo. That's me right there. Thanks for the link, Dr. Baxter. It gave me food for thought and made me think about my colleagues who might be going through the same thing. I was a bit surprised to learn that rates depression/anxiety are going up in the college student population.

Do you have any idea if depression/anxiety is caused by the stress related to college, or is it something that kind of sits and waits to rear its' ugly head when you reach your 20's?:confused:

And to ThatLady--in fact I DID explode a while back when I learned that one of my important classes was closed despite registering super early.

As for health services being free, I'll really need to look into that. As far as I know, they're not but I could be wrong. (I'm required to get a series of vaccinations for my major that will end up costing me over $100 at my university's health center. You'd think something like that would be offered for cheap or free of charge. Bah!)
 

Daniel

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As for health services being free, I'll really need to look into that. As far as I know, they're not but I could be wrong.

Usually, it's pretty easy to find out by searching the college's website. At the college I went to, "mental health services" were free for full-time students, which I assume is the norm at most of the other public universities in the US.
 

David Baxter

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Do you have any idea if depression/anxiety is caused by the stress related to college

That and increasing stress levels in life in general. Life today is so much more competitive than it was when I was growing up and in university.
 

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