18 Incredible Ways To Deal With Depression & Anxiety In College

Anxiety is a common occurrence among college students.

When it hits you, you tend to adopt a ‘victim’ mentality and enslave yourself to a slew of negative emotions, ranging from disappointment and disillusionment to apathy and discontent.

Under the influence of such psychological concoction, any tendency towards your capability is likely truncated. Hence, depression comes knocking.

A source of anxiety in some schools are based on the course some students study. For example, there’s a very common occurrence among Nigerian students. It is the issue of being given a course of study a student did not apply for in a tertiary institution.

Usually, this happens when the candidate meets the minimum requirement for admission but falls short of the available space in the desired department due to ranking based on merit.

This ‘spillover’ candidate goes to other departments that have not met their admission quota for the session. I get it – no one likes second best, no one likes leftovers, and if an average person will have his way, he will always prefer ‘me over others’.

The pain associated with rejection is perhaps not as heart-rending as the pain of having one’s ego bruised when treated as one who deserves less; talk less of being denied the chance of pursuing one’s dreams.

Read: 7 Hidden Effects of Exam Malpractice You Need To Know

Other sources include overly tight schedules and frequency of tasks and assignments.

You might have a similar situation or a not-so-bad situation. But whatever the case is, you’re stuck with God-knows-what for the next four to five years.

How do you make the most of the situation such that you do not end up a deadbeat and a loser on two fronts?

Failure to beat the anxiety and depression in time might affect your overall studies, self-esteem, health and what have you? Let’s explore a few thoughts that can help you get rid of that situation that comes with such muddle.

1. Be a little bit more social

Try to meet new people. You could join a new club, coaching class, crash course or team. This will not only enhance your network but will be a good source to learn something from them.

This will help you to open up and share the state of your mind with someone else. From meeting new people, you could learn how they interact or get a guide to your life.

2. Learn something new

People in any field or course of study were not really talented in the beginning. They created interest in it and continued to try something new.

You should also try to work hard and get proficient in whatever you are doing. Nobody learns everything right before they are born.

Be self-motivated and have a burning desire to do something new. Always look for an opportunity to learn and improve yourself.

3. Check your company

It is also advisable to stay in the company of suitable people. People who can criticize you constructively to be better without making you feel hopeless.

Find people who can motivate you to try again. Someone that can help you to continue something good you have abandoned. Improve your emotional intelligence and avoid toxic people. Improving your life is all about you. This is about you and your journey. If your group of friends make you depressed, it’s time to change them.

It would make you even more depressed to see what you don’t like seeing and you could declutter your social media or totally cut social media out of your life. 

4. Find a therapist

17 Incredible Ways To Deal With Depression & Anxiety In College
17 Incredible Ways To Deal With Depression & Anxiety In College

If you can get a good therapist around, pls go visit one. You need a therapist that is fit for you and your circumstances. I must encourage you to keep going until you feel deep within your heart that you have been made whole and free of anxiety.

Don’t just go on the first day and disappear.  Finding a professional person to walk you through your issues can be the best decision you’ll ever take throughout your college experience.

Your professional therapist could also help you out with recommending a medication that will suit you and make you feel better. 

5. Eat well and do a general health check

Vitamin deficiencies are sometimes correlated with increased anxiety and depression. Integrating supplements and a better diet may be all you need to record considerable improvement in you. 

Eating what your body needs as much as possible can help you to fight anxiety and depression in college. You could get a full blood panel that shows you what vitamins are lacking in your body. 

Such a test will also help you to discover an underlying medical condition that may be affecting you and causing the symptoms you have. This step will let you know what foods you should be eating more to brighten your mood and make you feel better.

6. Never underestimate exercise

Walking for at least 30 minutes a day can help you to make better choices.

Exercise is a great stress reliever. What’s more? exercise can help reduce anxiety and at the same time help you develop physical and mental strength. Exercise can help take your mind away from worries faster than any hard drug.

Imagine the feeling of your legs hitting the ground or the airbrushing your face. These elements are enough to take your mind off whatever worries you might be facing.

It is a legal and healthy alternative to hard drugs.

7. Try music

“Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.” ― Steve Maraboli

Sing along, loud and clear without considering what is happening in your environment.

Walk outside with a soothing playlist or your favourite music. Listen to podcasts and dance embedded with songs and cool rhythms.

Get lost in the music rather than the anxieties that arise. 

8. Care for others

Having someone to care for gives you purpose, even when you feel like it. On the other hand, depression and anxiety tend to make you feel like you are useless and purposeless. This is a lie. Having a responsibility to care for someone or others helps you overcome that.

Plus, having a neighbour to smile with, share things with and giggle with making you happy and free of worries. This puts a mindset of love in you and helps you to get around other people.

9. Think of what you can make of college life

17 Incredible Ways To Deal With Depression & Anxiety In College
17 Incredible Ways To Deal With Depression & Anxiety In College

Yes, Think of what you can make of college life rather than what it makes of you. Do not spend your precious time doing just anything without value or absolutely nothing. Each night you go to sleep, try to evaluate what you did throughout the day. This might be in the personal, academical, or job context. 

That life has dealt you with a hand you are not enjoying does not mean you can’t maximize opportunities. How about you show life in ‘sweet revenge’ that it is the hand, not the card that makes the man. You could try to volunteer or start a mini-business and grow from there.

Every detour is an opportunity to discover a new route to your destination.

10. There is more to life than academic training

Yes, I just said that. Don’t get me wrong, listen to the line of my thought.

I do not despise the high pedestal occupied by academic training in any way. I believe that education is a ‘composite tool’ that comprises a suite of skills. Academic competence is one of the major skills you will acquire.

In the end, you may be awarded a degree in whatever course you studied but the sum of the constituents of your personality will far surpass the learning and experiences you accumulated in class.

Your friends, the activities you engage in, all and many more will eventually tell on who you turn out to be. So, for a brief moment, look away from what will be on your certificate and focus on what will make up your character.

11. Justify your parents’ financial & emotional investments

Whether this is what you envisaged or not, the truth is that your parents are most likely spending just as much on and expecting just as much from your education.

How about you consider their sacrifice and commitment to you come rain or shine and do them proud, notwithstanding what you’re facing in the process.

12. Maybe it’s the road you need

17 Incredible Ways To Deal With Depression & Anxiety In College
17 Incredible Ways To Deal With Depression & Anxiety In College

This may not be the road you want but perhaps, it is just the road you need.

Life is replete with stories of accidental discoveries and sweet happenstances. Would you just for a moment, consider the possibility of the fact that God’s hand might be leading you to that thing you are supposed to be doing all along?

Perhaps if you take a closer look at where you are, you might see something worth sticking with. 

Serendipity is an integral concept in life. What’s happening to you might just be a course correction measure, that you may otherwise not agree to but in the long run benefits you. Nothing is sweet as fortuitous discovery, finding the things you weren’t even seeking.

13. Everything worth doing is worth doing well

The truth is, this could just be leverage to what you really wanna do.

The scriptures recorded that if you are not faithful in other men’s riches, who is going to give you yours (Luke 16:10-12)?

There is always a possibility that you may find your way back to that original path you have so desired.

If you are that determined, why don’t you consider the present situation as a stepping stone to it? An opportunity to accumulate good habits and extraneous skills which you may integrate into your skill set or personality makeup in the long run.

The beautiful fonts and lettering of the iPhone are attributed to calligraphy classes that Steve Jobs’ took in the short time he spent in the University – mind you, he was not in the University to study calligraphy. Isn’t that superb?

14. Don’t waste this stage of your life

There are two options from which you have to choose. Do nothing or keep doing something which might not be worthwhile right now but will become of significant importance over the years. Might it be a skill, project, writing or learning something new and useful.

Yes, you don’t wanna spend those precious years doodling around, waiting for life to happen to you? Depression and anxiety never helped anyone.

24 hours are precious enough! how about you multiply that by 365 days in a year and 4 or 5 years (on the average) you will spend in College. Life is too precious to be spent moping around for so long a time.

So, get up and make every second count! Ace that test, study hard for that exam, put your best in that practical. Decide you are not going to decay in the wrong spot, but rather you will thrive and transform the so-called ‘wrong spot’ into a ‘sweet spot’.

15. Learn change and adaptation

Leverage on this instance of not getting what you want to learn change and adaptation. This is what life is all about.

It is like getting groceries that are not even on your shopping list. We cannot throw them away but we can find an innovative use for them. It is a classic case of the stone which the builders rejected becoming the chief cornerstone. 

Life will always evolve in ways we may never anticipate. Learning to adapt and comply are perhaps invaluable skills we will ever learn.

The kind of adaptation I am advocating is not the lax, passive and baseless sort – that is the stuff of animals. What I am talking about is the active, energetic, innovative and dynamic proactivity that masterpieces out of broken marbles.

Just consider humanity on the overall for a moment. We have not only survived on the planet for so long but we are also transforming it at a wobbly pace despite the many challenges it has presented to us over the millennia.

We are the stuff of hope and love, faith and expectation. Without this, even when we are not getting our way, we lose our humanity.

16.  Don’t try to be someone else

When you constantly try to be someone in your class but you don’t get close to it, you will likely to experience depression. Make improvements and admiring people is good, but when you try to become who they actually are, it becomes an illusion.

You just need to be the best you can be at your own pace. You have your own special skills and uniqueness. Avoid anxiety and depression by being a  better version of yourself always. Compare your yesterday with your today, not your life or success with someone else’s.

It’s not worthwhile to force yourself to be who you’re not. There will always be someone doing better than you and you are also doing better than some.  
You do not get success overnight.

17. Love yourself

For you to have enough love to share around, you need to deeply love yourself and accept the person you are. Remember you cannot pour (to others) from an empty cup (you). It doesn’t end there, you should always be proud of who you are and who you are becoming. As long as you’re doing the right thing, you need not be ashamed of how someone else sees you.

Loving yourself doesn’t make you self-centred but makes you be in control of your happiness. Criticism will only help you get better, don’t ever let it push you to look down on yourself. Repeat it to yourself time after time that you cannot fail at being yourself.

18. Embrace nature

Go out into a serene environment. Look at the cool sky above you, lien on the green grass beneath you, breathe, feel the leaves. Embrace nature and be lost in the peace and calmness that come with it.

Alternatively, play some background music has been known to trigger certain images and emotions. Retailers have been utilizing this for a very long time by using sound to complement product and brand image.

Sounds is used to create a bubble of emotions. The sound of rain or birds chirping goes with the forest landscape. Another example is the blending of a calming nature sound for meditative days, country music for energetic days.

Conclusion

I, therefore, admonish you to draw on the many success stories of winning against infirmities and odds that precedes you. Join that league of legends and make your story worth telling to posterity. Determine that wherever the tides of your life may go, you will constantly stay afloat.

Don’t throw tantrums, that’s the stuff babies do. Take up the challenge, wrestle it down, wrestle it through – that’s the stuff of mature people.

On a final note, let’s take a cue from Aristotle who mused (and I paraphrase) – We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then, even in things that are inconvenient and unanticipated, is not an act but a habit.

Finally…

Make the most of the situation; dare the unconventional, do the impossible, gracefully carve a thriving niche out of what should otherwise be a miry pit.

I hope I have been able to make you see opportunities and reasons not to allow depression in your heart. If you feel good about this, share with the buttons below.

Much Love!

If you have any question, drop them in the comment sections. 😉 

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Post Author: Ikeoluwa Ogedengbe

Ikeoluwapo loves to paint vivid ideas on the canvas of young minds by engaging the rich, deep and poetic language that captures even the wildest imagination. He is passionate about education - mind you, not just marking time in school but the lifelong interaction with people and the environment that makes one imbibe and absorb information from myriad sources and in the process evolve and become something of a phenomenon by transformation. In summary, he believes that if you want a learning experience, you've got to create it... He is creating one through Explicit Success and he invites you to take on this adventure with him.

42 Replies to “18 Incredible Ways To Deal With Depression & Anxiety In College”

  1. Thank you for sharing this information, People often get caught up in depression for unhappiness. They need to look at the big picture and make an adjustment or change. Being upset and depressed might get them stuck, but change puts them on a new path.

  2. Oh man! I so wish I could talk to my younger self in college… Because I would tell her to STOP freaking out and stressing out about school work!!! Because um, I don’t even remember the classes I took, except for the ones in my major – hahahahahaha! The amount of time and energy I wasted on stressing out – NOT WORTH IT!

    1. For those who are entering college this is so important! I agree with your 2 thoughts, you can either embrace the opportunity or you can find a different path!

    2. Awww. I agree with you that going to school can be stressful. I am sure it helped you to be strong too. Thanks for reading.

  3. These are great tips. I haven’t been a student for a while now, but I seriously wish I would have had all this advice then. I regretted so many things that I feel so silly for doing it now. Great post.

  4. This is really amazing and I will share it across my network. I wish I knew how to deal with stress and depression when i was a student. It was so hard. Great tips.

  5. This is great for all the students out there! Sometimes it feels like no is able to relate to what you’re going through. You’ve got a lot covered here, and I know it will help someone out 😀

  6. That must have been really hard to talk about this topic! Thanks for sharing your advice – coping with depression surely is super hard!

  7. Something my Mom would always tell me is that it’s okay to feel sad but you can’t allow yourself to be sad forever. I think this is something that a lot of people forget about.

  8. Thank you, I had to leave my dream career due to my chronic illnesses. So I can relate so well. In starting I was angry, and in denial. But then learnt that this is the best option I have. And I need to make the best of it.

  9. Such great and useful info. I especially like the bit about adapting – it’s true about college and it’s true about life. Thanks for sharing

  10. Very well written and good tips. Depression is a serious and important issue on college campuses across the country. College students are susceptible to depression due to potential factors such as stress with school, work, or finances, or possibly feeling isolated after moving away from friends and family.

  11. Depression is such a serious issue, and it is everywhere! It makes me so sad when people look down on someone because they are on medication for anxiety or depression.

  12. Depression is a modern age disease number one! Ant what’s even worse, a lot of people doesn’t seem to notice or care about their depressed loved ones. I’m aware of how difficult the struggle with it is, and hope that the awareness will rise.

  13. This is such a great post. It’s always important about how we view the things in the world. It’s what we make of the difficult situations rather than what they make of us.

  14. I was almost finished university when the urge to quit hit me hard. “Why am I doing this? I can’t do this anymore. It’s driving me mad!” I mean, I worked part-time too and had a family already and did my school from home so I had to be a hardcore self-motivator, so it was kind of inevitable that the stress would get to me at some point. But when I was almost done?! I am really glad I saw it through. If for no other reason than to say I didn’t give up. Even just THAT matters.

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