How to Cope with Depression at University: My Personal Experience

Oct 20 / Rebecca Manani
Graduating from high school to university is a very exciting opportunity for any learner. At least it was for me. Little did I know, i would face many overlooked challenges that almost cost me my entire academic career as I had to cope with depression.

I wish had I noticed the signs earlier and knew what was eating me from within. It started as long sleepless nights, then came a time when I wanted to keep to myself. I felt like university was just not for me. This made me drive away most of my friends. Studying became so hard because I could not concentrate io

At first, imagining a life without guardian supervision sounds all fun and games. Until you actually have to live on your own and make some serious life decisions. That is when it dawned on me that I was not prepared enough for this. I am in a new environment and I fear almost everything and everyone I meet. You are afraid of the so called "bad company" which makes socialising very difficult.

As a university student, you are fuelled by the underlying pressure to make it and succeed in your studies. Parents expectations are usually at the peak of Mt Everest, while teachers expect you to be perfect if not better. Sometimes you forget you are human and there is room for mistakes. The struggle to work hard drives you into mental torture so that you do not give yourself a break. You become an academic zombie.

Coming from a humble background can be very challenging while in university. Especially in this generation where social media gets in our heads so much. You have to dress fancy in order to fit in with other students. For someone that was not used to being judged on how I dress, eat and talk this was very demoralising. I constantly felt like I did not fit in well with others. So, I isolated myself.

I could have prevented depression if I was more informed. Or, if I spoke to someone about how i felt instead of isolating myself.  Many university students are being consumed slowly by depression; sadly they do not realise it. This is the cause of many suicides and drug abuse by our students.

I have a few tips that worked out for me in coping with depression at university and they can for any struggling student out there.

My Tips for Coping with Depression

1. Talk to your friends and family for support

Turning to your friends for help is better than shying away from them. As the saying goes," a problem shared is a problem solved." Your family can help by getting you the necessary aid and medication.

2. Go for therapy and counselling

A therapist is there for you in case you feel like your circle is not convenient to solve your issue. They will advise you and give you some self-help mechanisms.

3. Practice self-care exercises

Self-care includes all the activities you feel comfortable doing. As a University student, you are limited in what you engage in. So you must:
  • Go out often and interact with nature
  • Eat healthily
  • Acquire a hobby

4. Avoid stressful encounters

Do not associate yourself with anything or anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable, whether it is physically or emotionally draining. Self-love helps in boosting confidence and building a positive view on yourself, which can help you in coping with depression at university.

5. Maintain a daily routine

Having a plan comes in handy in many situations. This will help you balance your academic and social life. It helps to prevent too much pressure on yourself, because everything has its specific timing.

Wrapping it up

Protecting your mental health should be your first priority. You cannot get that degree if you have a poor mental state so make sure you do all you can to help yourself as soon as you can if you feel down. Coping with depression at university is possible as I did it and so can you!
Rebecca Manani
Rebecca is a student at Chuka University pursuing a Bachelor Degree in English and Literature. She is a one of a kind article writer on Upwork, who is dedicated, smart and creative.

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