Student Stories

Taking Pride in My Intersectional Identity and the Power It Gives Me

Throughout my life, I resided in many multi-cultural, under-resourced, and impoverished communities that exposed me to a multitude of systemic inequities that impacted my family and friends’ well-being and mental health. I too faced those inequities as a queer Latiné, and as I learned more about the systems in place that upheld those barriers, I…

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Ending the Stigma Around Men’s Mental Health as a Transgender Man

Being perceived as less of a man when expressing emotion. Facing unrealistic stereotypes and expectations. Being made to feel like your mental health doesn’t matter, or that you can’t struggle with your feelings without being invalidated. As a transgender man, these are all experiences I’ve dealt with first-hand as I’ve navigated my own mental illness…

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Reflections from an Active Minds Graduate on the Importance of Mental Health in College Culture

As a high schooler, I convinced myself that starting college would be the fresh start I was looking for. I was certainly ready for one. So as I sat on the long drive to Eastern Michigan University (EMU) I looked through lists of student clubs, envisioning what my new life would be like. Active Minds…

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A Decade-Long Search for a Diagnosis: The Importance of Self-Advocacy in Health

“I was wrong,” is not something I ever expected to hear my therapist say. However, I had heard it more than once from different medical professionals over the years, all relating to one persistent question: “Do I have autism?” Throughout these various appointments and confessions, I remained without an answer. I went years without knowing,…

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Protecting My Mental Health During an Ethnic Identity Crisis

One of my first extracurricular experiences in college was attempting to join the Filipino Student Association (FSA) at the beginning of my freshmen fall semester. While I could say it was a memorable experience, it’s more accurate for me to describe it as an infamous memory amongst many others that defined my college life. I…

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I’m the First in My Family To Go to Therapy – And It Changed My Life

I’m going to be honest – I didn’t enjoy my first therapy session. I was 14. Growing up, I saw therapy as something people do when there is something “wrong” with them. They’d sit in a room, maybe on a long couch, and talk about their feelings for an hour before leaving and going on…

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Thank You to Our Barrier Breakers, History Makers, and Game-Changers

Okay, deep breath in and out. Just ignore him.  “Sorry about that sweetheart. Looks like you could use some more practice. Maybe don’t be so ambitious next time.” As I head out of the gate, angry to the point of tears, I decide that one, I will never speak to this man ever again and…

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How I Manage My Daily Recovery Journey from an Eating Disorder

It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly I started developing an eating disorder. Maybe it was when I started comparing myself to others, or perhaps it was when I started paying attention to caloric content and searching for weight loss methods. No matter when it started, all I know for sure is that the experiences and…

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Processing Complex Emotions Post-Break

Returning home from school is often characterized as being a joyful time, marked by the reconciliation of family and friends. College students that have moved away from home, whether it be by moving into an apartment down the street or to another city, have the opportunity to return to their loved ones after not seeing…

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Creating Safe Spaces for Mental Health at Tuskegee University

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 17, we share this message from Tuskegee University’s Active Minds chapter, a historically Black university, to both celebrate and honor the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as shed light on the mental health advocacy being done on their campus….

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