A Bit About Yourself:
My name is Julia Perry, I go to Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, and am the 2016/2017 Campus Rep for WYL! I love dogs, soy chai lattes, avocados, and Grey’s Anatomy. You can always find me searching for new people to talk to as I LOVE making new friends, however, with that being said, I value my relationships immensely and am so grateful to have all the incredible people that I do in my life. I love to go out and have fun, but also love to chill and watch tv, I’m happy doing nearly anything and try to find adventure in everything I do.
I am a first year student majoring in Emerson’s newest major: Business of Creative Enterprises. I also have a minor in Political Communications.
Favorite thing about your campus:
My favorite thing about Emerson is how forward thinking it is. Everyday I am surrounded by young adults who view the world in such a beautiful way and have such passion to change it that I can’t help but be inspired to work to find my way of making a difference in the world.
Another thing that I love about our campus is that we are directly in the city! I wake up everyday and literally have the world at my fingertips, it’s incredible and it has definitely shown me that city living is for me!
In the future, I hope to use my education to start a luxury brand consulting agency, that is, a company dedicated to reshaping brands and reestablishing them to a smaller but stronger niche market. Or I’ll become a professional Netflix watcher, still working on that though.
What is your connection to mental illness?
When I was a junior in high school, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and my best friend has dealt extensively with various eating disorders. Although my diagnosis wasn’t a surprise to anyone in my family, once I was diagnosed, it felt as if a weight had been lifted on my shoulders. I no longer felt like I was the “only one” dealing with what was going on in my brain, and knew there was help I could get to make me feel a little less alone. Since having been diagnosed, I have gone through talk therapy and been put on medication. This combination is what did the trick for me. No, my anxious thoughts have not left me completely, and no, my OCD tendencies haven’t disappeared, but they have come a lot more manageable and a lot less scary. I’m so grateful I got help when I did, and am so happy that I have been able to live my life as my real self, that is, the person who was hiding behind the OCD and GAD before
In regards to my best friend, I witnessed her struggle for around a year until she was able to get the help she needed. I encouraged her to get help, but we were struggling at the same time, and neither of us were able to practice what we were preaching. However, she has since gotten help and is living a much healthier and happier life. Seeing someone you love struggle with mental illness puts into perspective that although the illness is not visible (however in her case, it became apparent), it does NOT mean it is not there. Invisible illnesses are just as real and just as crippling, and should never be looked upon in any other light. I’m so incredibly proud of her, and so fortunate that she has given me permission to begin sharing her story.
How do you deal with stress from school?
Since transitioning from high school to college there have been many stressors, but that has enabled me to think of tons of ways to help cope!
Here is a list of my top 5:
Whether you work out every day, or try to avoid the gym altogether, exercising gets your blood pumping and endorphins flowing and immediately gives you a mood and confidence boost.
As college students, we definitely don’t get as much sleep as we’d like, but carving out 20-70 minutes for a nap is definitely a way to revitalize your soul.
- Call a friend.
Whether they live across the country, or only two floors below, scheduling time to talk with someone you love can instantaneously enhance your mood and change your day.
Although reading may inflict thoughts of school on some of you, I promise that if you find a good book, you’ll be thrilled you did and will appreciate every second you spend engrossed in it. I definitely have not been doing this lately, but I normally try to carve out 30 minutes of reading time before I go to bed to help calm me down and also help me fall asleep easier!
- Eat yummy foods.
Okay, by yummy, I mostly mean healthy, but healthy can 100% mean yummy too! Whether it’s a fruit smoothie, a salad with a homemade dressing, or a beautiful piece of grilled chicken, eating food that makes your body happy makes your soul happy too!
How does your school help students' mental health?
Emerson has an AMAZING counseling service ECAPS (Emerson Counselling and Psychological Services), and also just got a therapy dog named Rudy! Check out the ECAPS website here and follow Rudy’s Instagram: @dogtorrudy_at_ecaps
Do you have any school year self-care tips for other students?My number one tip isn’t necessarily a tip, but more of a philosophy. Know and remind yourself that everything is temporary. The bad day you’re having? It’ll be over soon and the sun will rise and you’ll get a fresh start tomorrow. Smile. Laugh. Thank those around you. Take your meds. Drink water. Do the little things that make you smile and know that you are not defined by your circumstance. You are beautiful and incredible and are here on this earth for a reason.