The following is my response to the new article “Depressed College Students Twice As Likely to Drop Out”
The students who contact me through my national organization, Campus Calm, are high-achieving high school and college students, many of whom are anxiety-ridden and depressed. As Eisenberg stated, these students are down and often times hopeless, but they aren’t losing interest in activities. Their GPA remains intact and the fact that they’re suffering largely goes unnoticed. Many driven students suffering emotional problems may get the grades they desire, but they often come at a psychological cost. I graduated summa cum laude from college with a “perfect” resume. I also graduated with depression and anxiety-induced health problems. We need a public health campaign to educate our youth that while they should always try their best in school, it’s not acceptable to sacrifice their health and happiness in pursuit of perfection. We also need to understand that overachieving students can be “at risk” too. I’ve had many students contact me who were on track to graduate valedictorian or summa cum laude. They couldn’t handle the pressure of the unrealistic expectations they or their families placed on them to be the best, so they dropped out of school. It’s tragic. Stressed out students need solutions along with statistics. Thank you again for raising awareness.
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~ Maria Pascucci, founder & president, Campus Calm