World Mental Health Day is around the corner, and with that comes a dialogue particularly important to today’s college students: How do we balance looking after our well-being while reckoning with exams, essays, our careers, personal responsibilities and the myriad of social, political and environmental issues plaguing our generation?
The Daily Californian’s staff have grappled with this question, sharing personal narratives of struggle, perseverance and grief. Simultaneously, our staff contend with modern-day interpersonal challenges. In this special issue, you’ll encounter commentary on social media, research on exercise and analyses of impactful court cases on our mental health. Mental health means something different to everyone, but we hope that after reading these stories, you walk away feeling both less alone and better equipped to sustain your own well-being.
When my world gets too overwhelming, I like to imagine I’m with Chanel underwater, swimming with the fish where, momentarily, nothing really matters. I remind myself that while scrolling through my depressing Twitter feed past midnight on midterm week may make life seem dull and hopeless, there is still so much joy and beauty in the world.
— Merve Ozdemir
These carefree and instantaneous moments remind us that life is more than the troubles we’re currently enduring and the better times — just like the final shots we waited so long for — will come in due time.
— Izza Ahmed and Defne Karabatur
— Vani Suresh
— Mahika Singhal
— Ari Cortes
— Adriana Temprano
— Caitlin Wang
— Emma Solomon
— Stella Kotik
— Chanyoung Chung
Our very lives are a commodity on social media; the content we post is the main unit of consumption. Social media companies profit off of our lives. When you reduce humans into units of consumption, you objectify humanity.
— Aarthi Muthukumar
Still, the journey to joy is riddled with obstacles and illusions. Happiness is subjective to time, identity and experience. Though my current perception of happiness will surely change in the future, I know there will forever remain sources I cannot outgrow.
— Michael Temprano
— Sebastian Cahill
Paint was all over me. My fingers were blue, the floor was brown and my camera was bombarded with hundreds of “artsy” photographs. I got in so much trouble for spilling paint all over my family’s rug, but it was all worth it.
— Nadia Farjami