Recently, I have stopped enjoying my birthdays. The realization of getting older and being not even close to where I should be has taken all the excitement out of life. I should have completed college, have a job by now and should have been saving for marriage. Well, these things are enough to drive anyone in the whirlpool of thoughts of how they are slowly falling apart.
Boys face these important questions all throughout their college life. There is a constant knocking on your mind, “Have you done this? What about this? I hope you have done that?” and with these questions come the fear of losing it all. It’s a competitive world out there and will I be wrong in saying that it is usually more competitive for men to prove themselves?
The ‘Gorilla Fight’ to prove your worth.
Male Gorillas fight with amongst themselves to impress the female. The human male is no different. Our battlefield is surely more civil but we too take part in such wars. Not always to impress the female counterpart but in all the aspects of life. You fight to get a job, then you fight to provide for your family, you fight to raise your kids well, you fight for everything. For many, these things come naturally as a way of living life. But for some these things intimidate them, to the point of making them depressed.
A male has many roles to play, son (who studies well and makes his daddy proud), husband (who loves and provides for his wife) and father (who loves, provides, raises his children well). These things said, dear feminists, please don’t raise your eyebrows! All these things are not said on your bargain. Men are thought to be born to assume servant leadership. They are expected to take charge; but what if they can’t?
Expectations that a man has from himself and the expectations bombarded on him by the family and society often go unaddressed. A boy is born to be an engineer and if he chooses to do standup comedy, what then? Though times are changing in our culture, there are still parts of India where you’d have to live with a stigma of a failure if you could not stand on your feet.
Depression with boys in college
College can be one of the most memorable and beautiful time of one’s life. You get the chance to socialize the most and make new friends. These friendships often last for a lifetime. But at the same time, college days can be haunting. The continuous stress to keep up with your academics, social, personal and spiritual life often tends to leaves one soul-searching.
Sadly, two times as many young men ages 20-24 commit suicide compared to young women. Reasons being anything from low grades, bullying to relationship problems. While we, at Sowers, were counseling young college going males we came across many cases who were dealing with depression due to relationship problems. Relationships in college going students now are more usual than ever, and like anything that’s encouraged before its time, it has harsh consequences. Relationships demand your time and attention. Where most adult men try hard to keep up with the expectations of a relationship, college-going students fall short in understanding the fragile fabric of relationship and usually fall victim to it. That is if you are serious about that relationship.
Talking about how we have derailed morally, one-night stands and the casual sexual encounters becoming a norm in most universities is a totally different scene. First, every college going student needs to understand that there are consequences to each and every action you undertake. The whole idea of living free and with no strings attached often comes back leaving you with that string around your neck, alone in your room, hanging from the ceiling. Don’t waste your life living without any accountability.
If you would like to talk to me about what I mean by a real relationship. Do drop a message on our contact us page.
College is over. What now? | When the dust settles
When the dust settles you can see clearly. You can see clearly where you stand academically, personally and in your spiritual life. When those university years end, it is sad and also traumatizing if you don’t have anything planned. Once you leave your college, you are left with only a handful of people. You now know your friends from foes. Now you know the importance of grades and a job. It takes you back to a collage of scenes and before you know you are thinking of going back and doing things differently. But that’s not going to happen and therefore you get stressed and get worn out.
Getting rejections from multiple interviews, seeing your batch-mates going abroad to study and getting a good job, strikes you like a hammer of reality. Boys transition into men in these years of uncertainties provided they get through it successfully.
Sadly, most boys don’t. They get depressed and put a tag of failure on themselves. Depression strikes us in the worst of our vulnerabilities and when its time to shake off the dust and go to work, it leaves us sitting and thinking.
Know that this is not a time to sit. Talking to your father about this would help you immensely. You see, this is a part of life and it can build you to face strongest of circumstances if you deal with it in the right way. Staying focused in these times is a huge ammo in your artillery.
Depression in college going students is treatable and know that there is hope for everything under the blue sky. We in our society have never been more open in talking about depression. Most of the problems that college-going males face are easily solvable with experience. You need to talk to someone you look up to, ask them what they’d do in the situation you are in. People are often more than happy to help.
Before the dust settles, shake it off your mind, pull out the ammo and GO GET WORKING!