Overcoming depression as a new college student


Nathalie Marin 20 year old college student who has overcome depression during quarantine and started to live hr life no matter the cost. Photo credit: Nathalie Marin

Alexia Naranjo, Staff Writer

It was Nathalie Marin’s last semester attending South Gate High School when almost everyone was forced to quarantine and start learning online.

Quarantining was something new and hard for many, but for Nathalie Marin, it was a bit more difficult.

Nathalie didn’t mind that her senior prom, grand night and all other senior events were taken from her. It was when she realized that her parents weren’t going to see her walk the stage that the depression slowly started to show.

Growing up all she wanted was for her parents to be proud of everything she has overcome, walking that stage was supposed to be one of those moments.

From this moment forward, things slowly started to get mentally and physically complicated. It was about time for her freshman year of college online to begin when she realized how difficult it was going to be.

“Trying to figure out how to work Canvas and schedule appointments with counselors was one of the many frustrating and annoying problems [I had],” Nathalie said.

It was something she had to figure out all on her own. Which only brought more stress into her life – mentally wasn’t ready for it.

Being a Freshman in college, Nathalie though she would have a difficult experience. However, she slowly started to get the hang of online schooling and used school as her way to cope with her problems.

Along with figuring out her online courses, she had to help her three younger siblings as well. Mathew Marin at the time was an 8th grader, Violet Marin a 5th grader and Anthony Marin who was in second grade.

Nathalie is the second oldest of five siblings. Besides school, taking care of her siblings was one of her biggest responsibilities.

It was through the years 2020 and 2021 that her depression became stronger.

She went from using the school as a distraction to giving up and procrastinating on her work because mentally she had checked out. Her work would pile up and with no care in the world she would continue to let it pile up even more.

Besides school, Nathalie would also use working out as a way to cope, and even with that, she had no hope. She went from working out and eating healthy every day to zero workouts a day and unhealthy eating.

She felt as if she was just watching herself fail and doing nothing about it. Nathalie hated this feeling and decided to do something about it.

Nathalie and I would just spend time together even when doing nothing just to feel the love and support of those we cared for.
Nathalie and I would just spend time together even when doing nothing just to feel the love and support of those we cared for. Photo credit: Alexia Naranjo

As time goes on, Nathalie decided that she needed to change her ways.

First, she started journaling, she would write everything she was feeling into a book as a way of venting to someone without actually telling someone how she was feeling.

Second, Nathalie started to go on bike rides and walk to her friend’s house just to get a different activity in her day.

Nathalie stated, “Walking to my friend Armando’s house would allow me to clear my head and get me active again which slowly gave me the motivation to get my fitness journey back on track.”

Attempting to mentally, physically feel healthy and happy again was one of her biggest goals while quarantine.

By the time Nathalie started to cope with her depression, it was already her second semester at Cerritos. “After realizing the way I was dealing with school wasn’t the [best] way, I decided to change my ways with school as well,” Nathalie stated.

Along with going on bike rides, and walks, Nathalie decided to focus on her schooling since she realized that these were the only things at the moment that she had control over.

From this moment on her life took a sharp turn. She decided to take everything she had gone through and learned in the past year and decided to live her life.

Around the time quarantine rules in Los Angeles County were slowly lifting, she started taking action on living her life.

Nathalie slowly started to take on new hobbies like planting, going out on cute dates with her friends, where they would all be there for each other to support and distract one another from what was going on in their heads.

Nathalie and her friends Giselle and Annell would go on small dates to distract and support each other through the hard times.
Nathalie and her friends Giselle and Annell would go on small dates to distract and support each other through the hard times. Photo credit: Nathalie Marin

These new activities in her life have gotten her to where she is today. A successful college student, amazing sister, daughter, loving and supporting friend.

Quarantine was not easy for her and I was able to experience that with her first hand. She got herself through the year and along with her she helped me as well.

Nathalie didn’t let her depression get the best of her, she decided to dwell for a bit but then got up and fought her way through it and succeeded.