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Take a step back. Your mental health needs it.

April 27, 2023

This piece represents the opinion of the author .
Kate Padilla

As I lay restless on my bed, battling insomnia, I am often left with spiraling thoughts filled with anxiety, sadness and impulsivity. In the middle of the night—4 a.m. to be exact—I thought to myself, “Why not submit an op-ed, Amorine? Here is your chance to make one last impression before you graduate in less than a month.”

I am sure no one would read this, as who am I? As just a shy, Black girl on campus, you probably never noticed me.

I write this to say I am not well. We are not well. Although the sun is coming out and the days are getting warmer, which I admit is extremely nice, I cannot help but think it is a distraction. Many of us are dying inside, walking around with invisible dark clouds around our heads.

I do not mean to put a damper on things, but this is simply what comes with life. Our generation is continuing to go through unprecedented times. We are overworked, overwhelmed, stressed, depressed and anxious now more than ever before, no matter what our circumstance is. It is a problem, and I fear we often and too easily forget this until something drastic and tragic happens, shaking the integrity of Bowdoin’s campus.

I make this reminder to you, the one who may be reading this, as well as to myself–you are not alone. Hidden and masked behind the excessive workload that comes with attending an elite, prestigious school—the exams, presentations, papers and honors projects—are the sleepless nights, catching up and 3 Red Bulls to make it through the day. It is clear you are struggling. We all are in our own ways. I am here to tell you: your struggles matter. You deserve to feel seen and heard; I hope you do while reading this.

Sometimes you need to take a step back. I know it is due in two hours, and you have barely started, but step away from the homework. Finish the job application later. Go to sleep early, knowing you have not completed every assignment on your checklist for that day. Give yourself a break from the hustle-bustle and demands of life.

I know it is easier said than done. Believe me, I know! But please take care of yourself the best way that you can. Take that well-needed nap. Find time to do what you love or have fallen out of due to life getting in the way. Go on a walk and explore the beautiful nature Maine has to offer. Eat that ice cream, you know which one I am talking about. Cherish the moments you spend with your friends and loved ones. Heck, drink that glass of wine, even if it is a Monday night.

Your future self will thank you for showing the care and love that they deserve.

Poor mental health is a silent killer. Your mental health is so important. Always. Even in an institution that seems to forget that. Just know I didn’t.

Much love,

Your friendly peer.

Amorine Adodo is a member of the Class of 2023.


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