Going Mental with Nicole: Why I’m Thankful for My Major


There are a lot of things I’m thankful for this year: my mental health, the way I’m handling things, my job, and being surrounded by amazing people.  

One of the most important things I’m grateful for is my mass communications major.  When I started college, I was undecided about my major and I wasn’t even a mental health advocate yet.  However, during my first semester, I made a mental health video about my OCD and posted it to my Facebook.  Surprisingly, lots of people were really supportive. That’s when I became a mental health advocate. I began realizing that I could use my struggles with my mental illness as an opportunity to spread awareness and to express myself.  I majored in mass communications later that semester and couldn’t be happier with my decision. Mass communications has given me lots of opportunities to advocate for mental health and to share my story.

At a public speaking competition, I gave a speech about ending stigma against people living with mental illnesses and talked about my own mental health struggles.  This year in public speaking, I’ve been working on an informative speech about mental health care reform, including how it has benefited me. For one photojournalism assignment, I stuck notes scrawled with negative thoughts on a brain structure to portray what it feels like to have a mental illness.  In the background, I wrote “more than my mental illness” and positive qualities I have to represent that I’m more than my negative thoughts. For my final project for mass media class, I presented research on on a mental health-related app called Self-help Anxiety Management App (SAM). I also love that I’ve been given the opportunity to have this mental health column in the paper.

I’m extremely grateful to go to a college where I am able to express myself and advocate for mental health through my classwork. I am looking forward to more opportunities to advocate for mental health using the skills I’ve gained in my mass communications classes.  

According to “Tips for Managing the Holiday Blues” written by Laura Greenstein, 64% of people say that during the holiday season they are affected by temporary feelings of fatigue, tension, frustration, loneliness or isolation, sadness and a sense of loss. If you begin feeling suicidal, call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.