Despite the assertion of many an anonymous internet commenter that people who are suffering mental distress should go to therapy and not college (as though the two were mutually exclusive) a local woman has beat the odds and has just graduated from her state college despite her history of chronic depression and anxiety.
Classmates and professors alike are stunned by this revelation, hailing her as an inspiration and a true heroine—all because she turned in her thesis on time and on page count. It’s almost as though she isn’t letting her illness define her and has the time and ability to be interested in more than day to day survival.
“I never saw her cry, not once,” a professor said, nodding sagely as he considered his students behavior over the years. “What a trooper.”
“She was laughing in the dining hall the other day,” a classmate of the subject tells reporters, evidently disappointed that her peer didn’t live up to the romanticized portrayals of depression in YA literature and film. “She had that solo in the musical last month. She can’t possibly be depressed.”
Still, others maintain that our subject could not possibly have needed therapy or medication when she had a 3.6 GPA and a boyfriend. “She even got along with her roommate,” her RA is recorded as saying, shaking her head. “She’s so high-functioning. It must have been a mild case, if she was sick at all.”
When our news team confronted this courageous local woman, she didn’t seem surprised by her community’s reaction, saying; “I did the best I could to keep my emotions to myself. No one want’s to listen to all your weird emotional problems, save that for your therapist. I learned this in high school where kids are teased by their peers for showing mental distress and from our current justice system which prioritizes the lives of rapists over the mental health of their victims.”
Asked if she’d ever thought about sharing her struggles with her professors, she merely laughed. “I thought about it, but everyone thinks millennials are so coddled to begin with. I don’t trust older adults to take my mental health concerns seriously. It’s OK, though, I’ve figured it out– you really have to keep to three main rules: cry alone or in the dark, sit in a back corner of the library so if you have a panic attack no one will know, and eat kale everyday.” When asked why kale, she just shrugged. “I like kale,” she said. “It’s a superfood.”
Sources close to the recent grad confirm her story. “She bottled all her emotions in for weeks at a time and then would scream at me,” her boyfriend said this afternoon with a cheerful nod. “All of her papers were finished thirty seconds from the deadline and were encrusted with the salt of her tears. No one noticed. I was so proud of her.”
And this star student’s future plans? She has a job lined up at a prestigious company, where she’ll perfect her strategies to hide her crippling social anxiety. Good for her!
Mental health can be hard to talk about, especially in college. I know. While my personal college experience was rich with resources, such as a mental health center, stress and time management workshops, and even just really understanding and accommodating professors, I only took them when I felt I was out of options, and I wish I had taken them sooner. If you have a mental health center on campus please use it. Talk to your professors. See if there are any mental health clubs or support groups on campus. There’s no fun in being the girl described above, and I watched a number of people try to be her and fail in heartbreaking ways. Don’t be afraid to speak up and seek help. Odds are you know someone who’s gone through the same thing.