I came to the University of Washington in Fall 2009. I felt completely on top of my game. I graduated among the top 5% of seniors in Washington state, I was a four-year varsity student athlete, I was president of two of the school’s largest clubs, I felt ready to take on the world. I had a plan to finish college in four years, take a year off to be in the Peace Corps, and then apply to med school.
I had this all figured out.
However, following my freshman year, I learned that life doesn’t work this way. Plans rarely go as followed, and college was not going as smoothly as I had hoped. I denied that the massive size of the UW didn’t bother me – but it did. I hated not knowing my professors, and more importantly I hated that they didn’t know me. I hated that classmates didn’t know or talk to each other. I hated that I could walk around campus for an entire day and easily not see one single person that I knew.
I became really depressed – for many reasons beyond the stresses of college life. But without a doubt, the disconnect I felt at UW didn’t help my situation.
HSPA is important to this university, because students need to realize that they’re not alone when dealing with depression. If there is one word that I can think of to describe how I felt when I was depressed, it’s alone. I felt isolated. I felt like nobody understood me or what I was dealing with. The isolation and disconnect from the world intensifies depression and can lead to devastating results.
HSPA’s goal is to make suicide prevention and awareness an IMPORTANT ISSUE. An issue that we can talk about, because it DOES affect us. It is the second leading cause of death in college students. We can’t ignore this anymore.