In a lot of ways, my life is perfect. Nevertheless, a part of me is always depressed. It’s a feeling that can’t be explained. It makes you distant from people and it makes you second guess everything you do on a daily basis. However, it’s not something that you can’t overcome. Yes, it’s just a phase like everything else in your life everyone goes through at least once in their life and if they are strong enough, they don’t let it sink into their skin.

How I have embraced my sadness:

  1. Let it out: Depression makes you feel like no one cares enough about you or rather you’re not worth anyone’s time. Which in today’s world is a known fact, yet your family can be your biggest support system. If you’re depressed, talk to your family or friends anyone you can fully trust and let out the anxiety. Don’t let those feelings, bury inside like old grudges, ’cause they don’t do you no good.
  2. Positivity: It might sound like a cliche, but you need to look at the positive things in life. Yes, your day went horrible and you lost your job or something major happened, but you need to count the positive things. You survived, you woke up, you got to see the sunrise or sunset, you were fortunate enough to get food. There is always something to be thankful for.
  3. It takes its sweet time: Usually when someone is depressed they want to move away from it as soon as possible, but It takes time to shift the curve. Don’t get mad at yourself for being upset or sad, embrace your darkness. You won’t always be happy in life, there’ll be times when queer thoughts will creep in but know that it’s only temporary.
  4. Things change: Once you go through that dark side, prepare yourself for some massive change. Nothing remains the same anymore. Everything changes, you either take your life seriously or you start living it to the fullest. Things that used to make you laugh, don’t make you laugh anymore. Things that intrigued you don’t seem to interest you anymore. It can be good or it can be bad, depending on who you’re.
  5. Feel your emotions: When your heart breaks into million pieces only then do you feel like a full functioning human. How would you know you’re truly happy if you have never experienced sadness? Sadness can be a blessing as well as a curse. People have made the primary purpose of their life to need/want/get/achieve. However, sometimes, sadness can spark a new purpose or meaning.

Tips for college-bound students!

There is anxiety; excitement, fear, insecurity, sadness and I have run out of emotions to type here. You’re probably familiar with these emotions, if you’re leaving for college soon. They are very common and believe me when I say you’re not the only one going through it.

When I left Saudi Arabia for the first time I was going though major anxiety, mainly because it was the first time I was traveling alone to a country where I knew NO ONE. When I got out of the plane, I was like a pup sloth trying to figure out life.

But it was the most exhilarating moment of my life. I could taste independence in the air and my transition into adulthood was beginning. It was all worn down only after the first week of orientation when homesickness kicked in. Luckily, food was there to comfort and I experienced the freshmen15. Which brings me to my first tip:

  • Food is temporary consolation:

It is there to comfort you till you gain 15 kgs and cannot even run a mile. That’s what happened to me, well, not entirely. I only managed to gain 10 kgs and then people started pointing it out to me and so did my clothes. Join clubs, that’s what they are there for; to keep your mind off your hometown and all the good food you’re missing.

  • Practice Small conversations:

Yes, practice makes perfect. I was very confident that I’d be great at it, since I am so chatty all the time. MAJOR FAIL. I stuttered, profusely sweated and made uncountable mistakes while speaking, making myself, and the people around very awkward.

  • Don’t pack EVERYTHING

Pack according to season, you will be coming back home after 6 months.

  • You’re not weird if you don’t drink: 

Drinking is prohibited in Islam, so drinking just to fit in is NOT a valid excuse. I have seen so many muslim students drink due to peer pressure. It makes me very sad that self-control is so rare. You can still have fun, if you’re not drunk!

  • Your friend’s circle will change!

You don’t have to be best friends with everyone. Not everyone is worth being in your life. You will find your people. It takes time, no need to stress out.

  • Take responsibility for yourself and your actions

Being an adult means taking responsibility for your actions. If you don’t do good on your exam, because you didn’t attend classes, don’t blame your professor.

  • Learn the value of money!

A very important lesson I learned in college was the value of money. I understood money that my parents were paying for my education was hard earned, of course, they could save that for their retirement but instead they spent it on me so I could get good quality education and didn’t feel left out. Make a budget of where you spend your money the most. Find work on campus so you can save a little.

My final advice is to acknowledge not many people are fortunate to go to college, so make the most of it. Make memories that you can cherish for the rest of your life. 🙂