How Do I Cope with Depression and School?

It’s like 12:48 am right now but that’s okay (k, yes everyone needs their proper amount of sleep so don’t follow in my example, however I did take a long nap in the afternoon so yeah…) but, I’m here to write about something very serious (as you can tell from the title) especially with what’s going on with me right now. Also I made a master post on my tumblr blog about this but I want a more detailed focus on what I do so, if you want to read that post you can click here (some content from that post will also be posted here as well).

Recently, I relapsed back into depression about 5 months ago (about July) and I started my senior year at a new school in September (I know. Wrong timing). So I had a lot of ups and downs there and here. In short, I want to talk to you guys about how I personally cope with mental illness while at the same time trying to reach my full potential and pursue what I want academically. I recently got a question on my tumblr blog asking how do I cope with depression and at the same time go to school.

Just a side note: Please keep in mind that I am not a medical professional but I did beat depression 5 years ago (and I'll try to do it again) so this is what I know and what I'm continuously doing to help.

Accept that You Have a Problem

 The first step is to always accept that you have a problem and that you need to treat it ASAP! When you let it sit and wait, it’s just going to grow and manifest which can alter your performance in school and effect how your view yourself overall.

Around October of last year, I went to my guidance counsellor, my dean and vice dean for immediate help. This was a tremendous step to getting better even though it was scary to get help (it felt so awkward too). Soon after she (my guidance counsellor) offered to have therapy sessions which really helped. I learned many new techniques (which are again in my recent tumblr masterpost) and it helped me get through it.

Overall, letting the right people know can really help and make you feel better. Plus it’s also great to have a support system.

Take It Easy 

A common mistake when you’re studying while depressed is that you need to pretend that everything is okay and just go on with full force with everything thinking that it’s just going to go away on its own. No. Just no. Remember to watch and listen to yourself.

My routine to watch this when trying to do an assignment goes a little like this (I don’t do this every single time since I tend to change it up).

  • Find a very blank place that’s very tidy so that your mind is focused on only one thing. I like studying or doing work on the floor in an empty corner with a blanket (I feel like I’m one of the only ones who does it… Am I?)
  • Put calming music on to get a rhythm going to help you pace while work.
  • Study for 30-35 mins without procrastinating (turn off your phone or put it into sleep mode, no tv, no distracting human contact, only you and that’s it).
  • Take a short break (around 5-8 mins).
  • Repeat.

Try to Take Care of Your Priorities Not Others

It’s without a doubt that we have to deal with toxic people. When you’re around them they just hurt you and that’s not what you want for yourself, especially if you’re going through a mental illness.

Recently, obnoxious people have been trying to get into contact with me and have been trying to cause drama however, I did what I was taught to do (thanks to past therapy session), I ignored it and gave them a more mature response then of course, I blocked them online and in reality (just ignore them when in person and go on with what’s important). This is the only way. I don’t expect to fix it since I don’t have the time plus I’m dealing with more serious issues (lol they’re not worth the time right now).

Just cut them out of your life but don’t be mean and toxic back instead, be stern and serious that you need space then move on. Trust me it’s worth it and it gives you another lesson that it’s their problem not yours so just focus on yourself. Remember it’s school not a reality show so just do your thing and let others do whatever they deem “worthy”.

Build Yourself Up Not Break

I’ve spent so many years being hard on myself. I’ve learned to not necessarily look on the bright side since that should never be the focus when something goes wrong because it doesn’t actually help your case. However looking at your failures and saying that it’s an attempt and a try should be a better way at looking at it instead of changing the subject with distractions like “Oh, hey at least I’m good at…” Look at what happened and think about how you can make it better next time.

Also thinking about the good times can actually help. For me, I tend to spend a few minutes when I’m alone to remind myself that I’m still here and that I’m still very much like very human – We all make mistakes but we still keep on going.

Become Motivated

When you have grit and the will power to succeed, you can accomplish anything. I usually like looking at famous people and their accomplishments to get me inspired. If you go on the Academy of Achievement site you can read and watch people and their success stories and the struggles that they faced.

Also ted talks about getting motivation also helps as well. I also have a few favourite Youtubers and bloggers for instance College Info Geek by blogger/youtuber and cute nerdy geek Thomas Frank, who also has written a book about motivation and how to succeed in school called 10 Steps To Earning Awesome Grades. He also has a library of podcast about anything that can help you succeed on his blog. You can also watch his very useful tips on his Youtube channel here.

Looks like another farewell (until the next post hehe). I hope this helped (forgive me for no images this time) and make sure that you listen to yourself as well and think about what other methods can help you get through this. If you have any questions please message me on my tumblr blog. Ciao!

Chaos by Design: Intellectual Poverty

-“That root is this: we underestimate ourselves.While we educate a small portion of our population extremely well, we unknowingly leave the rest behind. We don’t even come close to tapping into the intellectual potential of the vast majority of our citizens – and we don’t even see this.”

 

“We unknowingly leave the rest behind. Ironic isn’t it?” That’s what I said after reading this post on The Globe and Mail on the matter of all students can be top-performing students if we all just lend a hand. On the contrary, this doesn’t always exist and I’ll explain why.

If all students are brilliant then why do we have students who don't perform as well as their peers?

Before delving into the subject I want to explain how society plays a key role into the matter of the unseen talents of our not so-called top-performing students. We’re plagued by society everyday, for better or for worse. I still remember yesterday that my mother was yelling and complaining about how dumb Sarah Palin is and how she makes women look as pathetic and weak. I, on the other hand, think this done by society. You see my, mother doesn’t hate Sarah Palin just because she wants to, no, she hates her because, she was influenced by her de facto of her political leaders: The Democrats. So the point is, we’re all influenced by some type of societal party that can make or change the way we think.

Now connecting this to education, I’ll give you a scenario. A teacher praises a child who consistently performs excellent on tests and quizzes while sighing and doubtfully sends the kid who doesn’t to learning support because he failed. The teacher already sent the student away without even trying to resolve the issue. Remember the quote above? “-and we don’t even see this.” Yes, that’s right. Due to the societies’ views, we look at a child who can’t do things perfectly as if they’re broken and can’t be fixed or mend.

We are living in a society of intellectual poverty and when a child isn’t performing at grade level, we just automatically shut them down. First off, when we treat students that they can’t be “fixed”, we’re giving them a message that there is an anomaly with them that can’t be cured. This is a major flaw that we must mend in order to prove that we as a society can have every child perform well with flying colours and if we don’t then history will repeat.

 

Every child has the potential only if we can obtain it.

 

I’ve always been told that when I was younger, I was terrible at math but due to the support that I received from everyone along the way, my potential for math flourished and now I’m taking higher level math classes in high school. According to scientific research(The Expert Mind in Scientific American), every child should by able to excel at any subject. So taking that back to the growth of potential in a child, when we, the people, believe that a child can be successful, we are then breaking down those walls of intellectual poverty passing it along our children that they are indeed bright and that we, the people, are there to help.

Coming back to the scenario with the teacher and the struggling student, we can conjure up ways to help that student. I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard that if a child isn’t performing at grade level, we simply just focus on that child to bring he/she to the max. This is a good start to helping children but, have you ever wondered why or how this started in the first place? Let’s rewind back before the scenario with the teacher ever happened. Let’s go back to last night’s homework. The struggling student didn’t understand what was going on in class and now has to somehow do the “work.” Now let’s add some factors to this scene. This kid lives in a household where his/her parents aren’t involved with their child’s school work and don’t have time to praise/cheer or give moral support to him/her, they live in a pretty rough neighbourhood where they’re constantly faced with people aren’t successful therefore, can’t have a role model to fuel their ambition for the future, and lastly they don’t have a teacher who doesn’t think “Hey this kid isn’t performing great but, I’m pretty sure with constant support along the way he/she will be like the others.” This is actually the most realistic scene in today’s world and I can’t stand to just let it take over our children.

 

Unite together and change

Now focusing on this issue at an activist perspective, we have a society that needs rebuilding. The success of the future generation is crucial for our survival and that education is the best way to do that. Yet, our society is plagued by values and views that only certain people will be able to accomplish that dream, while the truth of the matter is every child has the potential to excel, we the older generation just needs to see that eye to eye. With this said, I now give you the option to change the calamity of this situation to paradise.