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Senior Pressure and Mental Health

Natalie Solano

mount st. mary's university campus

As a senior pressure can get to you, we often get the question: What are we doing after college?

During this season as it gets colder outside and dark earlier, college students can sometimes experience seasonal depression. During this time, I am having trouble trying to keep my future goals in line with what my plans are while also continuing to think about school. I will be applying to law school in December. My biggest struggle is listening to people ask me what law school will be going to? When I get that question, the first thing that I think about is “What if I do not get in?”

I have known that I wanted to be a lawyer since I was 8 years old. I have a passion for law and could not see myself doing anything else. I have done 5 internships surrounding law to make sure that I wanted to do law for the rest of my life. I did a summer program at Princeton University and took political communications there. I have done internships at law firms. I did a program in Italy with Lex fellowship and helped with cases at law firms. I have also studied at Beijing International University in China where I learned about politics and the Chinese language. My biggest fear is doing all these things and never being able to accomplish the career I did all those things for.

This fall, I have run into so much self-doubt, but I noticed while I was doubting myself, I was pushing myself to feel this way. I have never applied to law school, and I have not taken the LSAT yet, so how can I truly doubt myself? The Mount offered me so much help during this time. Counseling services can be a huge help when you are going through this as a senior. A lot of people believe that they cannot speak about mental health, but I have learned that saying it out loud can help much more than holding it in. I learned that it is okay to have a career that you want to go in, but it is not okay to hold yourself back because you think you cannot do it. Once I let go of that self-doubt and reached out to the services that the Mount offers, I have been doing much better managing my doubts. It is okay to feel like we do not have everything figured out as long as we are trying to figure it out along and along.

I am now confident to apply to law school and to keep my grades up because my mind is not setting me up for failure. Your mind starts it all: If you tell yourself that you are not great, you will not be great. My counselor here at the Mount shared an interesting message with me when I went to her. She said we need to stop blowing up a negative bubble where we surround ourselves with negativity. We also must look at the positive and blow a positive bubble. That may seem like a very generic thing to say, but when I was struggling, I could only think about the negative. Some things that happen to us can also have a positive spin on them.

If you find yourself struggling with some of these things too, know you are not alone. If you need to, take some mental health days and get yourself back up to feeling better. I do things that make me happy like hanging out with friends, shopping, and reading for fun. The Mount offers many activities to keep our energy up, especially during the year when seasonal depression can take its toll. Look into events like Bingo, board games, and movie nights. I always must remind myself to get up and not let the weather put me in a bad mood. My mind can take me better places than my self-doubt can, and I believe the same for everyone.

Natalie Solano