A semester full of crises

Not for me.  For my students.

Let’s make an inventory, shall we?

  • PTSD
  • debilitating illness
  • debilitating depression
  • debilitating anxiety
  • at least one jailed spouse
  • crises of single parenting
  • job loss
  • family members at death’s door
  • friends murdered
  • friends committing suicide
  • friends on suicide watch
  • friends injured or killed in horrible accidents
  • debilitating migraines

And I know I’m forgetting something.  It’s been a long semester.

At midsemester, I came out to students as a depressive, as there still seems to be here (especially among veterans) a stigma around mental illness.  I shared, briefly, my struggles with depression, and I emphasized that things got better when I sought help.  Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that I’ve had a series of students in my office since then.

Their challenges are tremendous.  I don’t have to solve their problems; I merely serve as a listening ear–as someone who demonstrates she cares about them when they feel alone–for a few minutes.  Fortunately, Boise State has a program to which I can report students who are distressed, and the response time is great.

I’ve been sharing with these students something I wish had been reinforced for me when I was a student.  It’s a brief list of priorities:

1. Self-care

2. Care of family and friends

. . .and only then. . .

3. Coursework

Perspective! It’s useful.  Pass it on.


  1. A Grateful Student of Yours says:

    Thank you. For all that you do, thank you!

    The support you have provided for me is invaluable, and I’m sure all those other students you’ve helped feel the same.

    Professor of the Year!

  2. My students have a similar list. Add getting pregnant, giving birth, and multiple court dates for ?? to it.

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