Tania Maree Giordani, BC ’20, will be taking an academic leave next semester. In this installment of Spectrum’s “My Mental Health Story” series, Giordani explains how she decided to take time off for her mental health.
After learning that her mother was in the hospital for a serious condition, Giordani’s anxiety—an anxiety she thought she had already overcome with medication and other support—came back in full force.
“I was scared to go outside,” Giordani said. “I just couldn’t do it.”
Shortly after her mother was admitted to the hospital, Giordani began to fall behind on her schoolwork and, at one point, was sleeping for well over 18 hours a day. She reached out to her professors to make up for the classes and assignments she missed, but she still felt stuck.
“My anxiety was up the wall because I’d had a month’s worth of work to catch up on,” she said. “Anybody who goes to this school knows how much that work that is. It was very overwhelming, and I felt like I was going to have to quit everything that made me happy and that made me me.”
So Giordani made a decision: Instead of sacrificing her mental health, she resolved to take the next semester and a half off to learn coping strategies for anxiety and depression without the impossible burden of making up for months of missed classes.
“Ultimately, I’m more important,” she said. “My health is more important. My being able to wake up tomorrow is more important than getting these grades.”
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