“Do I deserve to be here?” is a phrase that runs through my mind a million times a semester. When I’m walking into a new class, an executive board meeting, or even my campus job. No matter where I am on campus, I know that what I am truly asking myself, or rather questioning my worth on, is if I deserve to be at the University of Michigan.
Five of our staff members, each starting a different stage of their college career, share with us their perspectives on the start of the semester. These perspectives span from Freshman year to starting Graduate studies and highlight the highs and lows of each year at the University of Michigan.
Trigger is a word that has been used as of late, either for fun or whenever people get angry. I personally don’t mind it, but I know how much it may harm others. Trigger, according to the urban dictionary, is a term used to describe sensations, images or experiences that trigger a traumatic memory. It is related to post traumatic stress disorder, but I often feel it with my generalized anxiety disorder.
Love comes in different forms and neither it, nor Prince Charming, will be like anything you expected. He won’t sweep you away from all your problems and he will not show up in your backyard promising constant happiness and everything you heart desires. He will most likely not have a horse or a prestigious family lineage, and finding him will require heartbreaking trial and errors; but, he will love you endlessly.
Though this may sound dismal, there’s so much more freedom to explore and experiment with what works once you’ve let go of sure-fire answers. On a personal level, what’s helped me most is completely immersing myself into a multitude of books and journaling about life from this newfound perspective; for my brother, it was dedicating himself to physical health and wellness.
Growing up, you learned that it’s not okay to be yourself. Cultural messages of the so-called “ideal woman” permeated every facet of your life. You were told to cater to everyone and appear perfect even if you were hurting. This meant you had to be thin, conventionally attractive, and always calm and collected, as the “ideal woman” is an effortless endeavor. So, you wore makeup and certain clothes to look “pretty,” because you believed your appearance defined your social worth.
I absolutely love the subject and am interested in all aspects, but my focus will be in clinical science. My goal is to get my PhD so that I can be a clinical psychologist. But that being said, any goal comes with its setbacks.
If I could speak to anyone else who’s going through something similar, I would tell them to be very sure before they cast judgement on existence itself. Be sure that your skepticism comes from a desire for truth, and not the desire for an answer to your personal pain.
I’m sorry for losing sleep. I’m sorry for never being able to sleep. I am sorry for blaming you for normal emotions. I’m sorry for believing what everyone said about me. I’m sorry for not sticking up for my feelings. I’m sorry for continuously putting you in toxic circumstances. I’m sorry for forgetting or ignoring your thoughts. I’m sorry for thinking you are disgusting.
However, despite my general positive attitude and ability to stay on top of my life, I am still constantly being pulled in different directions, which takes its toll on me, both mentally and physically. My life at school, like almost everyone else’s in college, is stressful. I also often find myself unable to sleep at night, constantly thinking about things I have no control over; this is always much more unnerving than small worries like an unfinished term paper or a bad grade on an exam.
CAPS in Action, or CIA, is a student organization that works with the University of Michigan’s Counseling and Psychological Services (more popularly known as CAPS) to work on ways to educate the student body about mental illness and, most importantly, how to get help. Through CIA, I was able to express my passion for mental health by collaborating on projects to help make students’ lives a little brighter every day.
Mental health is an issue with which many people struggle, especially those within the student community at the University of Michigan. The goal of Lucretia, one of the University of Michigan’s newest student organizations, is to help students realize the various resources available to them.
As an autism awareness advocate and former Autism Speaks board member, John Robison said in his resignation letter, “Autism Speaks says it’s the advocacy group for people with autism and their families. It’s not, despite having had many chances to become that voice. Autism Speaks is the only major medical or mental health nonprofit whose legitimacy is constantly challenged by a large percentage of the people affected by the condition they target.”
When I arrived to the Speakable event, I thought I knew what to expect. Speakable is an event created by the Services for Students with Disabilities where students, faculty, and staff at the University of Michigan with disabilities get an opportunity to share their personal experiences with their diagnoses. I was amazed that there were sign language interpreters and a large screen where someone was transcribing what the speakers were saying. Each speaker shared their struggles and how they tackle them in day-to-day life.
CAPS, (counseling and psychological services) is yet another acronym amidst an alphabet soup used in the everyday vernacular of the Michigan student. Many first heard of this acronym either during a campus tour or their freshmen orientation. However, most students likely filed away the cliff notes version of services CAPS provides under a list of resources that students have, but believe they will probably never use during their time at Michigan.
The peer based-model has been implemented at universities across the United States and the world, and now has come to the University of Michigan. Over the course of two days, six students and seven psychologists from the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) came together to work with a certified Body Project trainer to learn how to implement and facilitate groups.
Working with the actress to not only tell the character’s story, but also my own, is teaching me not only how to better direct, but how to be an actor and truly channel the deepest truths of the characters into my work.
As is all too common with media, the controversy surrounding 13 Reasons Why had all but faded to the background of the internet as the show’s popularity declined. Then, last week, the show returned to headlines following the publication of a University of Michigan study on the impact of the show on at-risk youth.
When most people think of veterans and mental health, they think of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The movie takes a unique approach to the trauma veterans face once leaving combat, specifically one not often reflected in the mainstream media: moral injury.
While my goal in trying Calm was to improve my sleep, I’ve also been wanting to improve my ability to relax throughout the day, specifically in a way that does not involve screen time. Meditation seemed like the perfect fit, and I enjoyed Calm’s meditation. I felt comfortable breathing, and I successfully allowed myself to be completely immersed in the meditation, temporarily removing myself from all of the extraneous stressors I’d experienced throughout the morning.
How often have we looked into the mirror and hated what we’ve seen? You’re in the bathroom, washing your hands at the sink, and you raise your head. You see your face and judgments pour out of you. Somehow your eyes manage to land on every little flaw–every imperfection that you hate. You try your best to fix them, but to no avail. How do you hide that acne, change the shape of your eyes, cover up that eczema? So instead you leave it there, and walk out the bathroom with a slightly more dejected aura than when you entered.
When I first opened the journal and saw a question asking what I wanted to accomplish in the next thirteen weeks, I was instantly overwhelmed. In thirteen weeks I’ll have graduated college and will be moving to a new city and into an apartment I have yet to find. How am I supposed to make long term goals when I don’t even know the start date of my new job?
I often occupy myself with my phone so that I don’t have to think about whatever’s making me nervous about waking up the next morning, whether that’s a presentation, or work, or just the fact of waking up. So I decided to ditch the phone for a week--before bed, anyway--in order to see how things go.
I am no stranger to silence. I was raised Quaker, and in lieu of traditional church services, Quakers observe a silent worship. When I came to college, I found that this practice was something I missed but I never took the time to keep up silent worship on my own.
DAMN. opens with a question proposed to its audience – “Is it wickedness? Is it weakness?” and Kenny provides us with an immediate answer – “you decide.” Is this referring to his own demons? Is this referring to American struggles? Maybe it’s both?
Danny Brown’s Atrocity Exhibition is first and foremost one of the most unique albums I’ve ever listened to. Danny has always been an artist that a lot of people don’t actively listen to because of the shrill voice he uses when he raps and the heavily explicit subject matter of his music. I’ll readily admit that before Atrocity Exhibition, I thought most of his work felt annoying and excessive.
Two weeks ago, I took a week-long break from all of the social media sites I have accounts on: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit. I’m not somebody who posts or interacts with social media a great deal, at least compared to a lot of my peers, but regardless, I was very curious if not using them at all would affect my mentality.
Early in my first semester, it was maybe two coffees a week when I was exhausted. Then I discovered my love of Mountain Dew. I started downing glasses several times a week during the day when it was too hot and too late for coffee. Next thing I knew, it was at least one cup of caffeine almost every day. So much for not getting addicted.
This past Saturday I went and saw Split, the new M. Night Shyamalan film. I walked into the theater with next to no expectations as Mr. Shyamalan has continued to disappoint audiences time and time again ever since his breakthrough film “The Sixth Sense.”
I have never been able to focus in absolute silence. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in such a loud, bustling household, or perhaps because my mind is constantly trying to process a million things at a time. My solution? Instrumental music.
Breakups suck. They happen so fast, so suddenly, and if you're like me, you just want to cry all day. Well, more power to you.
We’re only a few weeks into the semester and I’m already having trouble sleeping. Usually I can’t fall asleep to music because as a musician I get too distracted, but I managed to find a good list of songs that make me feel relaxed and ready to sleep. Hopefully this will help my fellow insomniacs as much as it has helped me.
I gathered this “Songs that get you hype” playlist through my other playlist called “Interesting Vibes” on Spotify. It emits different sentiments as you hop from track to track
This playlist is inspired by the many goodbyes going on around campus right now: goodbye to classes and professors, goodbye to the buildings where I’ve spent the majority of my last four years, and hardest of all, goodbye to Mentality Magazine.
Although this Mid-Week Music is a little different than usual, songs from musicals and musical movies always seem to make me happier and I hope you enjoy them too. This playlist includes songs from Wicked, La La Land, RENT, Hairspray, and many more.
As Women's History Month comes to a close, I wanted to share another playlist of some amazing female artists that are making history right now. Despite the additional obstacles to success that many face, women have made incredible contributions to society, including the music industry, and this playlist is just a taste of that impact.
This shows that natural beauty and human industrialization can coexist if the effort is made. And this goes for other conflicting entities as well. We are one month into college and for new students like me, campus and classes can be both daunting and exciting at the same time.
My favorite thing about mid-summer is the robust storm clouds that command the sky. The clouds are so great, so full, that they seem like they would be substantial enough to stand on without falling. Sometimes, I turn to the sky at dusk and imagine what it would be like to live in the clouds, allowing me to be briefly untethered from the weight of my terrestrial existence.
I still don’t know what I’m doing this summer, and with each passing day I become more and more in the minority. But as the weather starts to change, I’m starting to get excited for the things that I do know will happen, like trips to Cedar Point.
Here is a cheesy reminder for whatever you might be struggling with: stick with it, do not give up, and success will come. It is always an accomplished feeling releasing the fish back into the ocean because you have the privilege of having a little bit better of an understanding of the perplexing and beautiful life beneath the surface
In an industry where every move they make is planned, recorded, and scrutinized, Stray Kids stands out for being one of the few kpop groups to “step out” (their signature greeting) and be candid about their thoughts and feelings. The group’s struggles, however, provide for an important window into the not-so-happy aspects of their journey, and pave the way for a more open discussion of mental health in Korean pop music and beyond.
As a gay, young, black man, Kevin Abstract discusses his own personal struggles with his race and sexuality in many of his songs. Besides creating a feeling of safety and validation among his fanbase, his songs also expose Brockhampton’s listeners to topics of depression, self harm, LGBTQ+ issues, and racism.
Neither fame, brilliance, community, or acclaim can protect a person from the fierce grip of addiction. It’s easy to blame the addict instead of the addiction, but addiction causes people to engage in harmful behaviors despite the consequences. Though Basquiat is gone, his work, almost hieroglyphic in nature, stays behind as a transmission of his vision, his brilliance, and his struggle.
Hoping to normalize the conversation surrounding mental health, Zucker asked his fan base to share with him stories regarding their personal struggles with mental illness and how it has affected them. As someone who struggles with mental well-being, Zucker wanted to use his platform as a songwriter to reach out to those who are also struggling and show them that they are not alone.
Anuradha Bhagwati was born to a conservative Indian family. Since her mother was a professor at Columbia and her father an MIT professor, she grew up in a world of academia and high expectations. She felt a sense of suffocation under the control of her parents. Overcome by the need to find herself and have control of her body, Anuradha dropped out of an Ivy League graduate school, much to her parents’ dismay, and joined the Marines.
In light of the much-anticipated release of the new and final Avengers film, it is important to look at the ways in which embodying a character, both physically and psychologically, can affect an actor or actress. Though portraying a heroic or fantastical character can be emboldening and empowering, playing the villain can also be damaging, an after-effect experienced by Michael B. Jordan.
Alongside her work both in advocating for increased diversity in entertainment and for environmental conservation, Condor is also passionate about positive perceptions of body image. Before she became serious about acting, Condor was classically trained in ballet and contemporary dance. It was a competitive environment to grow up in, and the pressure to look and perform a certain way inevitably affected her own body image.
Evans revealed that his anxiety almost kept him from accepting the role of Captain America. He knew that the press and a large amount of public speaking would be involved in becoming Cap, and he knew that his anxiety would be very loud in this environment. After talking to his friends, family, and therapist, he said, “It started to feel like maybe the thing you’re most scared of is exactly what you should do.”
This notion of required proof of authenticity highlights how this speculation is highly problematic in nature. This speculation dissociates Sylvia Plath’s experiences as a human struggling with mental health issues from how the public viewed Sylvia Plath as an artist and icon. It is never required for one to authenticate one’s experiences in order for such experiences to be deemed valid or of artistic valuable, and this is especially so with mental health struggles.
Although most of Mendes’ songs in his first two albums are centered around relationships and romance, the experiences he drew from were very ambiguous. However, his self-titled 2018 album brings something different. His song ‘In My Blood’ contains emotional lyrics, including: “Help me, it’s like the walls are caving in. Sometimes I feel like giving up, no medicine is strong enough, someone help me, I’m crawling in my skin.”