Student Stories

What is MEASURE?

I was shocked and happy when I first received the MEASURE acceptance email. I had applied last minute and thought it was a long shot given Active Mind’s reach. As the introductory emails rolled in a week later, I was excited but unsure exactly what I had signed up for.  MEASURE stands for “Mobilizing and…

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Tips to Overcome “Coming Out” Anxiety From Someone Who Did

Three years ago, I came out as a lesbian. Spoiler alert — that is no longer the label I identify with. And that’s okay. But for a long time, I didn’t think it was okay. And that fear of “misidentifying,” of coming out and then changing my mind, of just being what I perceived as…

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Embracing My Fluidity: The Intersection of Sexuality and Mental Health

Growing up, I always felt like an outsider. The world seemed to operate in binary terms, forcing me to choose between being straight or gay. This can be a difficult path for anyone, but it becomes even more arduous when faced with the complexities of identity and acceptance. As someone who identifies as fluid, the…

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Behind-the-Scenes of a Mental Health Initiative for Gen Z, By Gen Z

In the face of a youth mental health crisis, the urgency for inspiring mental health change has never been more apparent. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy has sounded the alarm, highlighting that a youth mental health crisis is already brewing. Startling data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that more than…

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Breaking the Cycle: Challenging Mental Health Taboos In India

When I was 10 years old, my aunt used to take me for a walk to the nearby park, and before going there, I was always warned not to go near this lady. My aunt told me she had some “special unnatural problems.” Before learning about the different problems people may have due to their…

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How My PTSD Diagnosis Helped My Childhood Self Heal

Trigger Warning: Discussion of physical and sexual abuse.  I wasn’t diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) until a couple of years ago. There was no real point that I recall where the symptoms started because in reality, for me, living in fight-and-flight mode was the way I’ve lived as long as I could remember. My…

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How to Manage Loneliness During College from a Gen Z Graduate

Change is difficult and isolating. The transition from high school to college was no different. Leaving home and moving to a different state while experiencing a complete social reset certainly impacted how I understood mental health. When I started college, I did not prioritize mental health due to my simplistic understanding of it — I…

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“Home is Where the Heart Is”: Protecting My Mental Health as a Third-Culture Kid

Before the age of 11, I traveled frequently between Kenya, my home country, and the United States. I also switched schools four times. At the time, I considered all of this constant change and movement to be normal. I rarely took the time to form strong friendships with those around me because I knew I’d…

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Why I Advocate for Open Conversations and Culturally-Competent Care

“Log kya kahenge?”, which translates to “What will people say?” is a phrase often explicitly or implicitly brought up in conversation in response to individual actions or words that do not align with the cultural norms of the South Asian community. As a South Asian woman, I have observed that mental health is still viewed…

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Five Ways to Support Transgender Students’ Mental Health

As a Transgender man, I’ve always noticed the many ways people convey their shock that I am a man before and during transition. It was just this morning that someone asked me, “You have a feminine voice, are you a girl?” and I had to “out” myself to feel affirmed. I remember being in an…

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