Name: Liliana Comito
School: Pratt Institute - Brooklyn, NY
Major: Fashion Design
Fav thing about your campus:
Pratt cats! We have a bunch of cats that live on our campus and occasionally walk into classrooms. There’s also an incredible sculpture collection that changes ever so often with no warning, so sometimes you’ll just walk to class and see a new piece of art on the main lawn.
I would love to have my own couture fashion label and become an iconic designer. It’d be really nice if I could be super rich and be able to fund the educations of underprivileged women and girls across the world.
What is your connection to mental illness?
I have anxiety and depression with obsessive compulsive tendencies and body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB). Anxiety and depression run in my family and affect both of my siblings. It took me a very long time to realize that the way I thought wasn’t normal, it was anxiety. When I think of it, there are a lot of memories that I notice had something to do with my anxiety, before I even knew what anxiety was. Even now, I find things and habits that are rooted in my anxiety disorder, like my nail biting, talking too loud, and the constant need for perfection in all things. Even my depression comes from my anxiety; I am depressed about the fact that I have anxiety and I’m anxious about the fact that I’m depressed. It’s exhausting.
How do you deal with stress from school?
I forgive myself. I forgive myself when I let my dirty dishes pile up because I’m too tired to do them. I forgive myself when I’m too nervous to go out with my friends on a Friday night. This little ritual is very important to me because I want to let myself know that I am going to be okay if I don’t do something I think I should do. I also have my support system; friends who know my story, my sorority sisters, and myself. I know that if things are really bad, a little bit of love is just a text away.
What does your campus do to help students' mental health?
We have a health and counseling center on campus, but it takes a long time to get any real help. Some groups offer programs like therapy dogs during finals week to destress, movie night with face masks, and free massages. I know that many students at Pratt are under a lot of stress and there’s more that could be done for them, which is where I come in.
Working with Wear Your Label is giving me the chance to make a difference at my school and help out my fellow stressed students.
Do you have any school year self care tips to share with other students?
It is going to be okay!!! Watch your favorite movie, take a break from things, look at cute pictures of puppies, and always remember that your health comes first. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. You’ve got this!