Student Stories

ADHD in Young Adults: My Symptoms and Journey to Diagnosis

I always loved learning and strived to be a high achiever. I did well in school, got along with others, and teachers seemed to like me. However, once I started college, there was a major shift. It became harder and harder for me to complete assignments on time. I felt I couldn’t reach out to…

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Living With OCD: Breaking the Cycle

I am living with excoriation disorder, a form of OCD, and I have for as long as I can remember. I always thought that the constant skin picking on my hands was just a nervous tick – until I did some research on mental illness. My symptoms matched every single one listed for excoriation disorder,…

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The Importance of LGBTQ+ Representation in Mental Health

Two of the things I am most passionate about are mental health advocacy and LGBTQ+ rights. Both of these are parts of my identity I hold dear to my heart, and I believe that for me at least, they are extremely connected. Discovering my sexuality was a journey, like it is for many people, with…

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What My Depression Diagnosis Means for My Mental Health Journey

As a 17-year-old high school student, I never understood why all my peers were seemingly so happy and filled with joy whenever they came to school, but I wasn’t. While my classmates were going out to football games with their friends, I stayed home and analyzed what was wrong with me. “Why can’t I make…

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Sharing Hope During Suicide Prevention Month

Content Warning: Mention of suicide attempts and suicidal ideation. The world needs you here because…well, why? For those living with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health disorders, the answer can sometimes feel unclear. And in a time when racism, transphobia, homophobia, antisemitism, and ableism continue to persist, I know firsthand how hard it can…

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Mental Health in My Hispanic Home: Breaking Generational Cycles

Imagine coming home to your mom and asking her to do something you know she would never let you do, but you still ask. You feel that knot in your stomach, and your voice starts to quiver. Growing up, this is how I – and many other Hispanic children and young adults I knew –…

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Claiming Space: Mental Health in the Bisexual Community

Content Warning: This piece contains mentions of suicidal ideation, religious trauma, and homophobia. I noticed from a young age that I was interested in both sexes. As a kid, I went to a private Catholic school from kindergarten through fifth grade before then attending a public middle school. I remember being preached to in second…

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My Experience as an Emerging Scholar: BIPOC Veterans and Mental Health

Content Warning: This piece contains mentions of suicide statistics. As a child growing up in India, I always considered my family my number one support system. I never realized that I needed more than they were capable of providing until I was in crisis.  My mental health became increasingly complicated as I entered my teenage…

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My Experience as an Emerging Scholar: Mental Health in My Community

Coming from a family that always emphasized the importance of social justice, I have always been interested in finding ways to give back to my community. After years of living and working abroad, I found my way home to my native Chicago to reconnect not only with my family but with my community.  Chicago is…

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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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