The SheHawk: Record numbers of college students are depressed and anxious, and no one is talking about it


Genevieve Guenther

Cierra Noffke, Contributing Writer

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on the topic of depression and anxiety in college students, but instead of filling it with statistics and their own hypotheses on why these numbers are so record breaking, they asked the college students themselves their thoughts on the issue.

The result was an array of honest, intelligent answers from students who suffered from both depression and anxiety.

The students listed a combination of technology, social media, the pressures that go along with unhealthily competing with one another, as well as the pressure of going to college itself and procuring a successful degree afterwards, as the reasons their mental health was so precarious.

Any number of these causes could be why college students are depressed, but many of these issues can and should be aptly addressed on our college campuses themselves.

Campus is the hub of social interaction, where swarms of similarly worn out and anxious students congregate. Instead of talking to one another, though, we isolate ourselves in an effort to focus our attentions and succeed to the best of our abilities.

We hardly ever speak about depression or anxiety, even though nearly every college student has suffered it. When we do, we make mention of the Counseling Center and assume that all will be resolved as long as students know where it is.

Although the Counseling Center is a wonderful resource for students to make use of, many students will not make the trip and instead continue to drown in anxiety and depression. It is imperative that we begin to speak more often about mental health with each other. If not in classrooms and around campus itself, then at the very least with each other.

It is a daunting and exhausting task, but there is no one who better understands the turmoil and fears of the college student than a college student.

Talking to one another encourages solidarity and allows us to view each other as equals, not as competitors in a tiring race that determines the outcomes of our lives. When we turn to each other for support, when we listen to each other and learn to ease some of the pressure from our backs, we grow stronger and learn that we are not alone.

Depression is a very real and very cruel mental health issue, one that if not addressed, will dig itself deeper and deeper into the recesses of its victim’s mind until they succumb to it. Do not wait for the semester to end to find someone to talk to if you or someone you know has depression, anxiety or just general stress about college.

The truth is, we are all suffering in some way from the woes of pursuing a college degree, and there is no reason we should suffer alone.