ROJAS | You’re Never Behind: Redefining “Health Leaves”

Content warning: this piece contains discussion of suicidal ideation, depression and other mental health conditions.

Writing this column from my Cornell dorm, I feel a sense of giddy. I’m realizing how far I’ve come. I’m back on campus and it feels like home; I want to share my takeaways from my health leave before I take a break from auto-biographical columns for the time being (I’ve been documenting my journey via my columns regarding my severe depression and suicidal ideation since last school year). I’m fully aware that I sound like a child excitedly presenting their favorite toy to their first grade class, but it comes from a genuine place.

OBASEKI | Dealing With The Coming Pandemic

Something is spreading among the student population: a fast-approaching scourge that will inevitably infect a significant portion of Cornell and other schools alike. Specific to seniors, this condition risks a student’s mental, academic and even physical well-being. Often dismissed jokingly, “Senioritis” still yields serious consequences for a small portion of students whose life circumstances may compound in a perfect storm of depression, apathy and burnout.

In a time when a mental health crisis is inflicting our youth, a decline in motivation and academic performance is something we should all take seriously. Especially given that many of us will apply to graduate schools, we should stay vigilant about our academics. Whether you’re wide-eyed and optimistic about a future beyond college, or a hardened senior, dreary at the thought of one more winter in Ithaca, you mustn’t underestimate when and how you can be affected by senioritis.

GUEST ROOM | Demystifying Derailment

We all know someone who claims that they are a new person after some life change. Whether it’s a breakup, weight loss, switching majors or graduation, this person insists they are not who they used to be. Recently, psychologists have coined a new term to describe this trait: Derailment. Emerging research has demonstrated a close relationship between derailment and symptoms of depression, anxiety and more.

Derailment is defined as one’s “perceived changes in identity and self-direction.” It’s commonly viewed as a temporal discordance of the self, meaning that individuals high in derailment may have a hard time making meaningful connections between who they saw themselves as in the past and who they see themselves as now.

WISE-ROJAS | Hello From Outside Residential: What is Residential? What Now?

It’s not anyone’s fault that treatment paths are not well-known. To be honest, I used to have the same questions about myself. Cornell students should be educated on the varying paths of mental health treatment in today’s world. Previously, I discussed what happens when you disclose wanting to end your life to a counselor and how being inpatient at a hospital works. I also talked about taking a health leave to get additional help — specifically, going to residential. However, I didn’t explicitly describe what residential was nor the path to treatment as a whole. When the Cornell community is educated on these topics, it can work to destigmatize mental health and teach others that healing is a process, not instantaneous.

WISE-ROJAS | Hello From Residential: When Health Leaves Are Needed

Trigger warning: this piece contains discussion of suicidal ideation, depression and other mental health conditions.

I’m not writing this column in my Ithaca dorm room, unfortunately. As a matter of fact, I’m not even enrolled in Spring classes at the moment. I’m writing this column in a time crunch because I have limited computer access where 90 percent of what’s on Google is blocked and my usual computer time is consumed by endless health appointments. I’m in California, a one hour car-drive away from my hometown of San Ramon, on a completely different coast. I’m in a psychiatric residential care facility, on a health leave from Cornell. A lot has happened since I’ve last published a column.