Why in the Hell are 50% of our Students Depressed?

The big sad elephant in the room

I spent yesterday evening sitting in my Biology class alongside a close friend. As we sat and stared, I felt my eyes glaze over as our professor droned on and on about politics in the 70s, minimum wage and global warming (not that these aren’t relevant topics of discussion).

“Back when I went to school,” he said, “I was able to pay for an apartment, a car, and tuition with a minimum wage job.” Dang, I wish I was born in the 70s, I mumbled under my breath.

“Nowadays,” he continued, “You have to make a minimum of twenty dollars an hour just to pay for an apartment at an average price. That’s almost double minimum wage.”

Wow, that’s depressing. Thank god my parents are willing to put me up, or else I’d be homeless, I thought. As the minutes and hours crawled by, I slumped lower and lower into my chair.

Until a single phrase jumped out at me from the lecture that had been so boring up to that point.

“Research shows that 50% of our students here at Grossmont College are depressed.”

I sat bolt upright and looked around, wide eyed. As my professor continued lecturing, I couldn’t help but notice the passive looks on my classmates faces. Had they not been listening? How could they not have heard?

I leaned over to my friend, “fifty percent? that’s insane!”

He shrugged and continued to stare along with the rest of the crowd. The lecture quickly went on to other topics, few of which related to biology, I noted, slightly annoyed.

I’ve frequently suffered from manic and clinical depression and understand exactly how devastating it can be, physically and mentally.

Why aren’t more of us talking about this issue? Why didn’t the whole class (or at least the half of us that were supposedly depressed) jump to their feet and exclaim, “God, save us, half of us our doomed to misery!”

It was only the day before that I had heard from a different professor another unsettling statistic, that 50% of our students drop out of school completely by the end of the semester.

There’s something going on here folks. Something dark. Something sinister. Something that we are all ignoring, some of us willingly. Why are half of our students giving up?

I’m not just here to complain, dear reader. We all have things to complain about, and as twisted as it seems, the default condition of life seems to be suffering, so it’s no surprise when things go south.

Depression, hand in hand with anxiety disorders, are deeply permeating academic society and society in general.

Maybe this is an SOS, a call for help, not only for myself but for those who I stand alongside of. There is nothing that can be done without us first recognizing this problem within our own sphere of influence.

There is an 100% chance you know someone who is depressed or who is friends with someone who is depressed. Please, do what you can to talk to them, hang out with them, show them the good side of life.

Personal intervention is among the only things that can save us, the 50%. Doctors and pills only help a little, most of us are just lonely, really.

Don’t listen to us when we say we’re fine. We aren’t. And when we all realize that individually, maybe then some of our lives can be saved.

Maybe this article is just a message in a bottle, scrawled out in the heat of a desperate moment, doomed to float forever, a lonely drop in the vast seas of online discourse.

But if even one person sees this and decides to make a difference in their life, then it will have been absolutely worth writing, as far as I am concerned.

The main themes in our culture today seem to be hate and division. It’s all we talk about. If we work together, reader, maybe we can provide some help for each other in these dark days, and balance out the hatred that consumes our conversation.

Reader, take courage. Lets help eachother.

Sincerely, one of the 50%,




I like to write. Sometimes I want to, sometimes I need to, but I always like to. My goal is to reach 100 followers.

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Michael Henderson

Michael Henderson

I like to write. Sometimes I want to, sometimes I need to, but I always like to. My goal is to reach 100 followers.

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