My Story: Struggling with Mental Health in the Pandemic

By Saniya Ghanoui —

LM recalls having to shift her mentality during the pandemic for the sake of her own mental health.


OBOS Today: Have you struggled with your mental health before the pandemic? 

LM: Uh, yeah. So, I’m a junior now, but when I was a sophomore, like around the fall semester was when I was kind of struggling mentally. That was mostly because I had a lot of work packed on myself. I was taking six classes, I had a job that was like full time, and that was just, I never experienced that much work in like one instance, right? So, um I found myself not really having time for anything, my grades kind of slipped, then my mentality kind of shifted because, you know I’m very, I’m very hard on myself when I don’t get the grade I want um, but at the end of the day I try to remind myself that I did the best I could, whatever you know. But um it lasted for like about, like, three months was when I was like at a really low point but naturally I kind of just really tried to shift my mind into thinking that, you know, a lot of people have it worse than you, you know?

There’s people who don’t have jobs or people who, you know, can’t afford an education so I’m thinking like why am I feeling sorry for myself when, like, what I have is really, you know, something that a lot of people wish to have? So, that kind of like made me realize like, you know, snap out of it. I mean yeah, you’re kind of getting overworked but that’s something you can control, you know, so then I asked my employers if they could like give me some time off or give me less hours and they were happily, you know, able to do that. And then with school I really just tried to focus most of my free time on school and like talking with professors and stuff so um that was one mental block and then the pandemic came, and I was kind of like what am I gonna’ do in life, you know? [laughs]

I was really struggling in the sense where I felt like I was literally doing nothing, I mean, you know because being so busy on campus and then doing nothing at all, I’m sure like a lot of students faced that um same you know conflict. It’s like, you know, what do I do now? And so, um. But the thing, though, that really I guess kept me going, though, that kept me out of that mental block during the pandemic was you know, I started seeing other people around me who I care about, like my family and all, feeling the same way and you know, of course I don’t want to see my loved ones feel down or sad so then, you know, I kind of turned into the one who was like oh look at the brighter side even though like I couldn’t see it in myself just yet but I pretended I did.

And then the more I did that, the more I then thought on the brighter side, and you know I always, if I think about it, a year ago we didn’t have the vaccine but now, if you look now, there’s so many vaccines being distributed and that gives me hope. I mean, yeah things definitely have to get better, we’re not at the end yet but for me, it’s just, everything happens for a reason, that’s my biggest mentality whenever time I’m really down and I have, yeah, I’m struggling mentally, so um, yeah, that’s pretty much my mental state right now. [laughs] But right now I’m ok.