- About Us
- Learning Events
- Take Action
A mental health testimonial about the journey back to well-being
By Clare Hickie, Faculty of Arts
My journey with mental illness has been a long one that has spanned most of my time at the University of Calgary. Starting out as an enthusiastic first-year, I never anticipated the many challenges I would face with my mental health during my time as a student, nor the many incredible people and supports that I would find.
When I first began my studies, I felt the anxiety and fears that almost all first-years face; that I wouldn’t be smart enough, that I wouldn’t make any friends, that I wouldn’t find my “fit.” Despite these, however, I found a supportive and engaging campus community that welcomed me with open arms and challenged me to grow academically and personally. I blazed through my first year of university, and had great grades, made awesome friends, and volunteered in Costa Rica. Everything seemed to be going according to the plan I had for myself.
As first year turned into second year, however, I started becoming more and more tired and anxious, with my energy waning and my enthusiasm slowly burning out. Even though I did everything I could to keep up the appearance of the smart, hard-working person I wanted to be, I felt like I was becoming a ghost of my former self. There were days where I would zone out in class, sitting through the entire lecture but not absorbing a single word, or lie in bed all day unable to make my way to work or school. I felt my love and enthusiasm for life slowly slip away, leaving behind a person that I hardly knew. I knew something was wrong, and that I needed help, but I was stuck in a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality, and kept telling myself that it would pass and that I could get through it on my own if I was strong enough.
Join our mailing list to get the latest Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses information.