The Daily Gamecock

We're taking a break

The Daily Gamecock is going dark. After today, we will not be publishing content for a week. 

In February, we made a commitment to continue the conversation about mental health. For our dark week, some members of our staff chose to write about their personal struggles in an effort to change the systemic culture that encourages mental health to be swept under the rug.

If there's one thing we want everyone reading these to know, it's that you are not alone. Here it is. Our rug is turned over.

In the past year, I could count on one hand the number of times I didn't have a tight feeling in my chest.

“We’re fine. It’s fine. I’m fine.”

This is the mantra our newsroom has repeated for the year.

“Have you talked to your grandma lately?” No, I haven’t.

“Did you wish your brother a happy birthday?” No, I didn’t.

“I really need to talk to you. Can I call?” …

If I’m in the shower, at least nothing can bother me. 

I shower twice a day now. I don’t pump iron at the gym, let’s not kid ourselves. I don’t work up a healthy sweat at yoga or have a labor-intensive job that calls for extra suds before hopping into bed. I shower twice a day because it’s 40 minutes of time I can call my own.

I have to start this off by saying, I love The Daily Gamecock. Not only have I witnessed myself grow personally and professionally, but I've also met some of the greatest, most talented people. I'm so glad to be a part of something such as this.

But I also have to acknowledge the reality of the situation.

College is, for most, a time full of uncertainty. Class selection, career prospects and housing all raise questions about the best path forward, not to mention the many social spheres that college students must navigate. I personally have changed degrees, left clubs to join new ones and even drastically rethought my own future while at USC.

While I am a sensitive and emotional person, I have always hated showing my emotions to other people, even my closest friends and family. However, after what was probably the hardest summer of my life, I’ve learned to embrace the catharsis in showing others how I feel. 

Growing up in a media-saturated society was something I didn't understand the impact of until I arrived to college. Three years later, my coursework outlines the expanding nature of technology, connectivity and how this comes into play with human sociology. Needless to say, it's overwhelming. 

I pride myself on my work for our paper. I’ve been with it since freshman year, and I’ve been the copy desk chief for over a year now. I know what I’m doing, and I’m good at it. This semester, it doesn’t feel like it.

I have always struggled with anxiety. I have made strides of progress in my struggles with mental health, but at the beginning of this semester, it felt like that all went down the drain.

I’m starting to realize I’m a bit of an escapist.

I hide from a lot of things. My identity. My thoughts. My past. 

They have a tendency to bubble up when I least expect them to, threatening my composure, invading my space. A quick click and I’m scrolling through my phone, ignoring myself, denying those needs. I’m trying to get out of my own head.

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