Anybody feel depressed in a college atmosphere?

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Visitor
@visitor
9 months ago
303 posts

I had to quit my job at a college because I was getting self-destructive thoughts. This isn't typical of me. 

I just started wondering if college in general is a depressing place to be for faculty, staff, and/or students? I know I picked up a lot of negative energy there, more than any other job I've ever had (and I've had some stressful ones).

Does anybody have any insight into this? Any similar experience? I'm starting to think college students are far unhappier than we ever imagined.


updated by @visitor: 07/29/17 11:01:52PM
Hop Daddy
@hop-daddy
9 months ago
502 posts

My step-mother just retired from 25 years working at a University. She was an administrative assistant to the Dean's office at one of the colleges. And the job and her co-workers sounded like complete misery. Everyone seemed bored and unhappy. These types of jobs are typically low paying with a lot of rules and bureaucracy. You are not paid to think and be creative and therefore have boring, low brain use repetitive duties. It sounded like a sad pathetic atmosphere in my step-Mom's case. I guess I can't generalize and say that would the case at every college. But I could also see how that could be something that happens at many colleges. It sounds like your situation may have been similar.

As an empath it was good for you to rid yourself of that situation.

Visitor
@visitor
9 months ago
303 posts

@hop-daddy, I was also an administrative assistant to a dean and many faculty members. I didn't mind all the multi-tasking and busy work. I kind of like that stuff. But I felt totally unappreciated and unsupported. I put in 150% and got back 1%. I saved them a lot of money by managing their budgets (they hadn't bothered) but if I made one mistake on them, I got written up. 

My question was regarding the intensity of the depression. I felt like ending it all. Other miserable jobs just make me feel like quitting - this one made me feel like my life was over. I'm wondering if I was picking up energy from students. A lot of them were "ungrateful" for the opportunity of going to college. Translate: They didn't know what they wanted to do with their lives and felt pressure to do something, so they went to college. Or maybe they liked college but it was a wrenching change from their usual routine. 

It was a good job, too, paid decently, good benefits. I'm now unemployed and poor, but much happier than I was there. There's something up with college environments.


updated by @visitor: 03/02/17 10:22:58AM
Hop Daddy
@hop-daddy
9 months ago
502 posts

This sounds a lot like my step-Mom's situation. A low pay thankless job where you get written up for stupid stuff that is demeaning. I think that impacts everyone at the work place and creates a depressing situation. I'm sure you picked up on that.

As for the college, on the one hand I would think these would be the best years of their lives. But I know in recent months there was a lot of outrage and protest over the election so maybe that played into some of the emotions you felt.

My advice is to try to find jobs where people are happy and productive. And practice regular grounding and maybe consider looking into protection stones so that you can stay ahead of feelings you will pick up in a group setting.

Jan Howorth
@jan-howorth
9 months ago
10 posts

This is rife in the workplace today, I was recently let go from a job that paid 50% of the normal teaching rate and it felt like a relief when it had gone. I couldn't understand why I had been there so long. We tend to take the negative energy on board and its difficult to get rid of it before it impacts on your life. Its a vicious circle I'm afraid

water_lily
@water-lily
9 months ago
90 posts

From the point of view of someone who was a student not all that long ago (at least it doesn't seem that long ago), who has done a little bureaucratic university work, and who knows professors and others who work in academia, it may be the environment. When I was in school, most people I knew were constantly stressed and trying to find happiness in unhealthy ways. While drinking, frequent casual sex, and some drug use are probably normal and possibly healthy to some degree, constantly trying to escape feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, etc combined with a lack of meaningful social connections (thanks age of social media) is normal, but certainly not emotionally healthy. For perspective, I had what is considered to be a difficult major. Out of the 20 or so people in my year with that major, at least 3/4 of them took illegal drugs to function. Probably 4 or 5 had any sort of meaningful romantic relationship during those 4 years, and most people's idea of fun was just going to a bar and getting blacked-out drunk (fine on occasion, but have some variety in your life and don't use it to deal with life). I've even had roommates threaten to kill themselves because they were so stressed out. The people in the "easier" majors didn't seem much happier. Most people told me that the were happy, but they just weren't; I could feel it.

Although I suppose it depends on exactly where you were working, my experience is that school's funding is being slashed and staff members are not exactly feeling appreciated, and sometimes not as if their job is safe. Unappreciated and scared people get grumpy (to put it mildly) and take it out on others. Plus, they give off a lot of negative feelings. 

Between less grant funding, fewer tenured positions, and schools hiring part time adjunct faculty to teach classes to save money, faculty is feeling pretty grumpy in general as well.

So, yes, I'd say that the college environment may certainly be a more depressing place to work than many others, particularly for an empath.

Corey Easton
@corey-easton
9 months ago
62 posts

yeah college is awful for energy I am in my last semester for my bachelor degree, and right when I step foot on campus my chest tightens up and I have a hard time breathing and I have to remind myself to relax. Someone needs to shine some light on campus though. hardest journey so far for me 

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