How to Protect your College Career during a Sudden Bout of Depression

Averaging four-hundred dollars per credit hour and requiring an investment of over four years of your life, college at a major University is not for the frivolous. Yet, we all know that life throws its hard-balls at the most inconvenient times and sometimes at a speed of more miles per hour than we can keep up with.

A majority of college students have wrestled with some form and degree of depression in their lifetime and are aware of how overwhelming it can be. Rather than succumbing to the pressures of depression by sacrificing all the effort devoted to your college career thus far, fight back smartly with these few, but powerful tips. The most important thing to know is that depression is a medically recognized ailment and that, by now, most schools are aware of its widespread presence on college campuses.

First, see a medical professional. A psychologist or psychotherapist is not necessary being that any family care physician can diagnose and treat this problem. Even if you do not want to be treated pharmacologically, you need to have a record of professional opinion. While you are there, ask for a short note explaining that indeed, you are suffering from depression. It is necessary for the next step.

Second, make an appointment with the Dean of your school. If you attend a very large University, then each of its colleges have more than likely appointed their respective Deans. Armed with a doctor’s note, explain to this person how depression has lead to your abnormal performance. Add proof by showing how the time in question is, in fact, an outlier from your normal. The dean will probably have searched through your record for this proof anyway, but to show that you are seriously concerned about your college career, bring copies of your grades to this meeting.

Third, if the Dean of your college has not mentioned it yet, ask for a medical withdrawal from that semester’s courses. This will completely remove these classes from your transcript. If your school has an automated system of records, the classes will still show with a “withdrawal” code, but they will not show on a formal transcript. There is a very good chance that your dean will do this for you without further investigation, but if not, simply arrange for him or her to access the information needed. In most cases, your money will automatically be refunded upon withdrawal.

Withdrawing from that semester’s classes will set you back a semester, but for most students, this option is extremely better than failing classes, especially if you plan on applying to a graduate school. The extra time that you will have can be dedicated to finding relief from this common form of depression. In all, this impasse can be diverted by making a simple request.