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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Merrimack chapter.

My family considers me a bit overdramatic. In elementary school through middle school, I woke my mom up at 6 am so she could drive me to school. My mom worked the night shifts and still does today, so naturally, she never wanted to get up when I said it was time to go. My face started to get heated, and I would pace down the hallways as a kid. When I knew I was going to be late or even just on time, I would start to cry. It was something I just could not control. Never mind the fact that my mother is the slowest driver on this planet. I frantically looked through the rearview mirrors at the cars behind us who got too close. 

I never wanted to be late for class, soccer practice, dance class, or anything that had a set time. One of my youth soccer coaches would always say, “Early is on-time and on-time is late.” Don’t ask me what late is. Not to say that wanting to be early is a bad thing, but I think I took it to a whole new level. In my non-professional opinion, I think this was a small early sign of anxiety. So yes, maybe my family is right, I am over dramatic, but oh well!

I did not fully understand I had anxiety along with depression and a panic disorder. Until my sophomore year of college when it became clear to me that my mental health was not in the place it should be. I thought I could never change how I reacted to situations. I was having daily panic attacks and it was difficult to be in a social setting. I thought there was no way I could even go back to school. My mind was not as nice to me as it should be. 

To be honest, the people around me helped me become who I am today, and who I will be in the future. My friends and family noticed consistent hard times and spoke up. It took repetitive conversations, but one day I guess it just clicked. After hearing what they had to say, I was encouraged to want to make a difference and finally, just allow myself to be simply happy. It was extremely difficult to start the process and frankly, I did not want to do it. However, I realized my mental health was not only affecting me. It was also affecting the people I love. And that was my reason to get better in any way. For my personal path, I chose to seek out a therapist as well as a psychiatrist. 

Still to this day, I struggle with my mental health, but am in a much better place. Some things will never go away and life happens! Whatever your step back may be, it does not wipe out all the work you have done. When months come around that were difficult in the past, I try to remember where I am now and the people who stuck around me through it all.

 I believe that gaining a positive mental health outlook is different for everyone. I hope that anyone struggling allows themselves to believe there can be a way out. You have to learn from your mistakes and advocate for yourself. Nothing will change until you are willing to put effort into making a difference. Even a little difference goes a long way.

Caroline Applin

Merrimack '25

Hi! I am a junior at Merrimack college studying Marketing in Business with interests in both Graphic Design as well as Data Science. I enjoy working out, journaling and hanging out with my friends. I am so excited to be apart of the Her Campus community and share my opinions on all aspects!