This material was written by a Dallas College licensed counselor. All views expressed in this piece are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dallas College.
We are hitting that point in the semester where the excitement of starting a new semester has maybe turned into anxiety for some. Sound familiar? Maybe you’re beginning to feel anxious about keeping up with all the work that’s ahead, and the thought of falling behind is just too much.
When you find yourself behind in your studies, it can start to feel like a sense of depression. How does this happen? Students usually have such high hopes and good intentions. You’ll find yourself remembering how you were going to focus on each class, do the work each week, stay on top of everything ….
Then, like the saying goes — stuff happens! Maybe your family needs you to run errands, give folks rides, attend family gatherings — and you better stay for the whole thing! Your job is asking you to work extra hours, your boss keeps changing your schedule every week, or you’re just so tired that you’ll nap when you get home — which means you say, “I’ll study tomorrow.” Friends and that special someone want to hang out, or a friend needs help with something.
Whatever! Point is, you think, “I’m behind through no fault of mine!”
What Is Depression, and How Did I Get Here?
Depression can be defined as feeling helpless to prevent something bad from happening. Symptoms can include lack of energy, not feeling motivated, having difficulty focusing, finding it hard to finish things you start, difficulty making decisions or revisit decisions made, or feeling a real lack of confidence. You may feel like you’re not worth much, have guilt or self-blame, or think, “What’s the use?”
You can see how this might make schoolwork, or any work, much harder to do — it feels like climbing uphill all the time. So, if you’re behind, a bit or a lot, and then start feeling depressed about it, well, it quickly goes from not good, to bad, to worse.
It may not have started with school. You may have had a tough life without much support. Maybe you heard negative messages at home, were bullied or abused, or had another trauma like illness, an accident, natural disaster, etc. Struggling with school just brings up old feelings and messages and makes it worse.
So, what can you do if you feel this way, or see yourself starting to feel this way? Let’s keep scrolling and focus on three key topics.
Concentrate on Things You Can Control
- Your health — enough sleep, good nutrition, daily exercise
- Your relationships — be around supportive family, friends, pets. Get out of the house!
- Your mood — music, nature, funny videos/movies, relaxation. Do not turn to drugs/alcohol.
- Your work — plan; organize; set small, short goals and celebrate success
Explore Useful Apps for Organizing College Work
- Evernote.com/basic (choose the free option)
- istudentpro.com/store (free for one device, costs to sync across devices but not much)
- Myhomeworkapp.com (download free to Apple, Android, Windows, Mac)
- Trello.com (be sure to choose the Free Forever option, syncs for free)
Don’t Be Scared of Professional Support
- Community resources: Google, call 211 or go to dcccd.edu/counseling and scroll down to see community resources
- Dallas College Counseling Staff (contact info below)
- Trained, licensed by the state of Texas
- Services are free and confidential
- Online for now, later in person at a campus near you
- Personal — people who care, will get to know you, know you are uniquely you
Please remember, Dallas College is here for you! There is hope. There is help. Get started now.
Written by Dr. Jesse Gonzalez, personal counselor at Dallas College
Dallas College Free Online Counseling for Students
Do you need to speak to someone about something you’re dealing with? At Dallas College, we never want you to feel alone. Our certified, professional counselors are here to help you — for free!
Our team offers virtual, one-on-one sessions for any student currently enrolled in Fall 2020 classes. To get started, all you need to do is contact your campus Counseling Center at the email address listed below:
Brookhaven Counseling Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cedar Valley Counseling Center: email@example.com
Eastfield Counseling Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
El Centro Counseling Center: ECCStudentCounseling@dcccd.edu
Mountain View Counseling Center: email@example.com
North Lake Counseling Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
Richland Counseling Center: Counseling-RLC@dcccd.edu
Please note: If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 911 or visit the nearest hospital emergency room rather than requesting an online counseling session.
Interactive Sessions by Topic
Our counselors also offer a variety of psychoeducational workshops and Let’s Talk Series to assist students in developing academic skills, exploring career options, making career decisions and growing as a person. These interactive sessions are free and available just about every week! Join us for the following events:
Acknowledging Individual Differences
Thursday, Oct. 15 | 1-2 p.m.
Let’s Talk Series: Healthy Relationships
Tuesday, Oct. 20 | 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Our team of Dallas College counselors also proudly support TAO (Therapy Assistance Online) as a helpful, free resource that offers more than 150 brief, interactive sessions on various topics such as mental health, wellness and substance abuse. Check out the following sessions that are available on demand:
Enrollment Key: #Love
Let’s Talk About Anxiety
Join in: taoconnect.org/anxiety
Enrollment Key: #kick-it
Join in: taoconnect.org/mindfulness
Enrollment Key: #keepcalm
Join in: taoconnect.org/stress
Enrollment Key: #kickstress
Discover other events we have planned this semester by visiting our Counseling Workshops and Events page.
Community Mental Health Resources Available in Our Area
- North Texas Behavioral Health Authority can help pay for community psychiatric, mental health and substance abuse services — please call 214-366-9407.
- Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas — please call 214-828-1000.
- National Veterans Crisis Line — please call 800-273-8255 and press 1.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline — please call 800-799-7233.
- National Sexual Assault Hotline — please call 800-656-4673.
- Message 741741 from anywhere in the United States to text with a trained crisis counselor. Heads up — standard messaging rates may apply.
It’s okay to say. Our college encourages and supports all students and employees in their efforts to openly talk about mental health. Even if you’re not dealing with a specific mental health issue, chances are someone you know is. If you see something that could be helpful to someone else, spread the word and share this information.