At the beginning of classes for spring semester, my Adolescent Psychology professor had posted an optional discussion board assignment online where students in the class could anonymously post what they wish their teachers knew. Here are some of the responses people have posted.
“Something to know about me is in my sophomore year of high school I lived at my aunt’s house for the month of January and some of February. Why? Come to find out my dad was in the hospital due to a hemorrhage/stroke due to a vein bursting in his head causing internal bleeding. When my dad recovered he wasn’t the same. My parents fought more, you couldn’t rely on a good mood from him, and it always felt like walking on eggshells around him. Stress and tension filled a place that was supposed to feel like home. Stress, anxiety, depression, you name it followed everything afterwards and has yet to go away. I kept so many things in, bottled up, to the point where I developed migraines daily. Impacting my grades, social life, and health. I eventually had to drive to Boston Children’s Hospital every Wednesday to meet with my neurologist and psychologist for a year and a half. Since then I have struggled with getting things out and not being able to get my thoughts under control. What I want my teacher to know is sometimes I get into this state where I am unable to focus or seem unlike myself. And that even though it might appear that I am not trying or caring about my work and grades, I do. I’ll just be in a different state doing so.” ~ Anonymous 2020
“Something I wish my teacher knew about me is that although I also have my own struggles, I do not show it well. I am good at keeping things in, even if you think you know what is really on my mind. I have gone through many losses, many moves from town to town, anxiety, and family issues, yet i believe everything happens for a reason. I try my hardest in school, even though I don’t like it, and there are times I just feel very burnt out. I work three Jobs while being a full time student and there are days I just need a break. We all have our own challenges and I am a good listener which makes up for holding in my personal problems. I have a lot to be thankful for and just need to continue to remind myself. My goal in life is to help others as best I can, especially on a deep level, bringing out my passion for psychology.” ~ Anonymous 2020
“Something I would like my teachers to know about me is that I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and I am also going through a really rough situation currently that is starting to affect me not only academically but socially as well. My anxiety tends to hinder my performance in school but with the medication I have been prescribed it does help with my focus and concentration. I love psychology and enjoy learning about it. I am excited and eager to learn in this class and hope to have a great semester!” ~ Anonymous 2020
“I am a senior at Framingham State! What I would want my teachers to know is that I am not lazy, I am trying. When I was 15 my lung collapsed 2 times within 3 months of each other I was rushed into emergency surgery and spent 2 whole months in the hospital because I almost died, they still do not know why it happened. Since then I have had horrible anxiety and an overwhelming feeling that it could happen again at any moment and I will have to go through that again, because in all reality; it could. So when it looks like I am zoned out or in a daze I am probably just trying to refocus. I get good grades, and I do all the work so when teachers assume I am not paying attention in class it kind of affects me.” ~ Anonymous 2020
“I am a freshman psychology major and I’ve dealt with mental illness throughout my life. I am diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder as well as Major Depression, General Anxiety, and PTSD. I have been hospitalized for my disorders and have struggled to keep up with classes and work. I wish that my teachers knew that I’m not lazy and procrastinating because I don’t feel like doing the work. I struggle every day getting out of bed and functioning normally each day. I wish teachers were more sensitive to their students and their struggles and were more accommodating. I am trying my best and I hope that my teachers can recognize that.” ~ Anonymous 2020
“Hello, I am a sophomore at Framingham State University and this is something I would like my teachers to know about me. One thing about me is that two years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It took me a while to get used to this, and get used to taking medication, but after a while I realized a lot. I don’t mind talking about my story and the struggles I went through to get where I am today because if my story in any way can support others and get rid of the stigmatization of mental illness then I would do anything in my power that I can to help. I also have a tattoo on my forearm that I just got that supports mental illness.” ~ Anonymous 2020
As you can see, these responses are mental health related and overall, students wish that professors would take into account that students are struggling with their lives outside of their classes. I believe it is important for professors and teachers to see us as humans and not just students to throw information at. So, take your time to talk to and personalize yourself to your professors and they will put in the effort into helping you grow, not only educationally but also as a person.