The world is tough. There is so much pressure on younger people now, and with the internet showing us what we could all be doing, the pressure is a little more high profile than it perhaps once was. Did our parents have the perfect Instagram lives shoved in their faces from the moment they woke up? Did they watch people’s careers grow on Facebook or their witty friend’s humour on Twitter go viral? The pressure that comes with being exposed to so many different lives every single day is overwhelming.
However, in every day life, they had less accessibility to help and resources. They couldn’t stay in bed when they weren’t feeling up to work because they were having a bad mental health day. They couldn’t access most of their university course and textbooks online. They didn’t have the same opportunities to network. They didn’t have places to hide their from their daily stresses.
I often wonder if today we are becoming too sensitive or we are recognising issues that were always there.
Are depression and anxiety and other mental health issues more common now, or do we just hear about them more?
Should we just get on with it?
Today on Twitter, I saw a post about a ‘cry closet’ that has been installed in a university library. It’s being called art, but is also being praised for offering a space for students to release their frustrations. Safe spaces have been becoming more prevalent over the last few years in universities and workplaces, but I always wonder what people used to do.
In university especially, people are preparing to go off into the world, and man, it’s a scary, crazy place! Life can be shit. It can be shocking, upsetting, depressing, terrifying, and every other negative word you can think of. It can also be beautiful, funny, sweet, exciting and every other good word you can think of. We all know that the bad makes us appreciate the good, so as much as I love the power of positivity, should we really be hiding all of the bad?
I can’t help but think that safe spaces and similar emotional hiding places allow us to dwell more on the negative. We’ve all gone off to our rooms, etc. upset at some point in our lives. But then we have to move on, because we need to leave those rooms. We all figure out our own ways to release emotions as we grow. Do safe spaces hold us back from really feeling every feeling and figuring out how to deal with real world stuff? Do they actually encourage us to think more negatively?
Personally, I embrace every feeling I have because that’s what makes us human. All the nasty stuff, the shit stuff, makes us real life living beings in an insane, beautiful world. Why not experience it all?
I’m not sure that things like safe spaces are a positive addition to our way of dealing with stress. As for the cry closet, there are usually private quiet rooms in libraries anyway. Not that people should be embarrassed about crying, but surely walking into a closet to have a meltdown is a much worse way to deal with stress than facing up to the problem at hand?
It seems almost a way of gaining attention when people make such a big deal of their stresses. I know that sounds insensitive, but the words to describe it escape me. Of course you should turn to people and discuss how you feel, of course you should be as open as you can. But if you are revising in the library and need to sit in a closet for a while, then maybe it’s worth looking into ways to relieve those feelings without having to walk into Narnia.
University is stressful. Life is even more stressful.
Do you think we should find ways to deal with that stress rather than hide form it? Or do you think safe spaces and the like help people deal with emotions rather than run from them?
As an addition to this post, I would definitely like all readers to know that if you need to talk to someone, don’t be afraid to do it, and I am always here for a chat/listen about anything – and I mean anything – so please feel free to message me on social media or email me. I will always help however I can.