It's Finals: Take Care of Yourself

November 19, 2014 8:31 PM

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In my four years at Smith, I have noticed an opposition to self-care out of fear for how identifying the need for help will be perceived. I have heard other students say, and have said myself, that asking for an extension from a professor jeopardizes our credibility and moreover means we have failed. As a result, I put off registering with the Office of Disability Services until this fall. When I finally went to the office, I had to ask the director of ODS to sit with me while I filled out a form, asking for accommodations for more times on assignments, and wrote OCD under the word "Disability" with my hand shaking. I still feel compelled to ask friends when I have the right to ask for help. However, I have also found power in asserting my needs, and taking advantage of financially viable options for treatment.

I thought of it this way: if I talk with my professors at the beginning of the semester about my anxiety disorder, work the maximum amount of work study hours allowed, and continue to say "yes" when approached with opportunities for academic prestige, I can choose the way in which I will be visible ...

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