Me and College

“Hello” (Insert smile here). “How are you doing today College?” (Insert outreached hand for a handshake here). “Oh, you need to know my full name for your records? No problem. My first name is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My middle name is Generalized Anxiety Disorder. And my last name is Major Depressive Disorder. Nice to meet you.”

When I sign my names on documents I write “Julie Driscoll”, but if names defined us, the above would be my name. From one snowy winter in February of 2003 to this very day in January 2009 I have been climbing an uphill battle with mental disorders. I have obsessed about the most disturbing and petrifying thoughts one could imagine. I have worried about everything from my day in school to the chances of me developing schizophrenia. And I have spent weeks upon weeks lying in bed telling myself there is no point in getting up. While most kids dread going to class because of the teacher, workload, etc, I worried I would faint, “go insane”, and throw up. I spent countless class periods curled up in a ball in the nurse’s office hiding from the world. While most kids stayed after school to play basketball or practice for the drama club, I went home to sleep away the pain. While kids worried about the next school dance, I worried I would fall asleep and never wake up again. I have spent more hours in psychiatrist’s and psychologist’s offices then I have living life. I have been hospitalized twice because (in my own words at the moment) “I just can’t handle this anymore.” Perhaps hell isn’t an appropriate word for a college admissions essay, but to make my point clear, you could compare the way I have felt to hell.

Now, that was the suffering part. Next is the healing part. I’m not going to pretend no one has ever held my hand through all of this, reassured me that I would one day feel okay or just sat with me and really listened. People helped. But let me tell you how they helped. They helped with the door shut. They helped with lowered voices. And they helped behind the public, secluded in their own world. In my high school, there was never a time where I felt I wasn’t getting the attention I needed to feel safe. But still, everything about me was treated like a secret. I’ve been given the impression from this world early on that people don’t talk about mental disorders. More than half of people on this earth will experience either anxiety or depression in their lifetime. But we can’t talk about it openly yet?

I am so frustrated with this world we live in where it is shameful to have a chemical imbalance. Spending so much of my high school years in the nurse’s office has given me the chance to witness all kinds of illnesses. For example, there were a few students who would regularly come in to check their levels for diabetes. Everyone was there to watch them take care of themselves. But yet when someone came into the office with tears or shaking with fear, everyone else was shooed out. Each morning in my school we have announcements where there are lists of students read off such as “so and so to guidance,” and “so and so to the nurse.” When it comes time to call down kids to see the school psychologist, it is simply “so and so to the office.” During my second hospital stay, I asked some teenagers if their friends knew where they were. Time after time the answer was “Of course not!”

Pity my frustrations? Please don’t. Accept me to your college and let me change the world by first changing myself. After six years of suffering I am ready to actively engage in psychology courses and figure out for myself how to make me and the rest of the world feel understood. I think College can help me achieve my goals by changing the way people look at me, my mental disorders, and the rest of the mentally ill in this world. I want the stigma on mental illness to be significantly erased in my lifetime. I think I have a big enough eraser in my tool box to make this happen. Please allow me the opportunity to let me bring my eraser to your campus. Thank you for your time.





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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

Critic5 said...
Dec. 26, 2011 at 2:12 am
I thought the ending was a bit laughable when it said "accept me to your college". Not that mental illness isn't serious but your essays closing message for me was basically screaming "Hey, i've been through this. Get me in please." And the "Thank you" was a bit the same. Overall I think if the essay gets edited it would be a very strong essay.
 
Peppa+salt said...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 9:26 am
You did a wonderful job in this essay. You could tell that your voice was in it and that it came out of you deeply. You did a wonderful job presenting the way you feel. I feel that the way you wrote it that it captured your reader and the audiance. Nice job!!!!!
 
salt+peppa said...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 9:14 am
The story is incredible, I would just watch some of the sentence structure and look over some spelling
 
Ramrams said...
Jan. 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm
Wonderful , I love it !
It has feeling , and you poured your heart into it .
I agree with your approach 100 % .
Once again , kudos .
And yes , you WILL change the world .
It's people like you the world needs .
:)
 
laneyb said...
Jan. 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm
I liked this a lot. I have been trying to write my own essay, and I started it by saying I didn't want to talk about my struggles, but about how I am healing- then of course I erased the essay worried the college would not want to accept someone so unstable.
I agree, the world should open their eyes to how many people are suffering with these problems.
 
Kanadiankee said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 12:30 am
I don't really understand how the second to the last paragraph has anything to do with this essay. I don't understand that the second paragraph is trying to say at all so try to be more detailed there. Really nice ending though
 
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