College can be one of the loneliest places in the world for someone struggling with a mental illness. Depression in college makes us want to just crawl in our beds and sleep. We’re expected to go out and be social, but it’s exhausting. Anxiety makes us ask ourselves, “Well, what if they don’t like me?” Along with mental illnesses, it can be hard to balance everything. We have classes, studying (that we should be doing), papers to write, family to keep in touch with, potential friends to make, exercising to work off the food we don’t have money to buy time to eat, a job, and so much more.
I attend a university with about 30,000 other people. Of course there are an abundant of organizations to be a part of, but with depression and anxiety, it’s hard to open up and create actual connections that help fill the hole that loneliness creates. Walking from class to class, I see hundreds of people; hundreds of people I will never talk to; hundreds of people I will probably never see again. It’s intimidating to see so many people stopping to talk to their friends as most of us keep walking hoping maybe we’ll see someone we know
It can be really difficult to reach out of our comfort zones and meet people, but we have to. We’re in this hole of loneliness and the only way we’re getting out is by reaching up and hoping someone grabs our hands to pull us out. The best way for you to meet people is to join organizations you are passionate about. If you love mental health awareness, see if your university has an Active Minds or To Write Love on Her Arms chapter. If you love chess, join the chess club. It is hard to open up, but it’s the only way to get rid of that loneliness eating you up every day.