You probably hear it every day: “How are you?” “I’m fine.” Everyone at Princeton is always “fine”.

Except, I wasn’t. I wound up taking a year off to cope with a host of issues, including both physical and mental health. When I came back to visit, I was obsessed with proving that I had gotten all better, ready to pop back into the Orange Bubble like nothing ever happened. Just a few days of relentlessly trying to maintain the façade that I was once again “fine” caused incredible stress. I realized I couldn’t bury my problems and have any hope of living in a healthy way – so I started telling people. “I left because I was depressed, and had a severe sleep disorder. I’m doing better, but still have a ways to go.”

Sharing my story and situation with others helped tremendously, relieving a huge part of the burden I was carrying and giving me the support of informed friends. That’s why I decided to focus my thesis project on giving other students an opportunity to share as well. This is a piece of investigative theater, drawing on sources such as newspaper articles and therapy techniques, but also–and most importantly–the actual words of Princeton students I’ve interviewed who are dealing with mental health struggles.

Dr. Calvin Chin, head of Princeton Counseling and Psychological Services, will join Labatt in a talkback after the May 10 performance.

Performances are free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended. Click here to reserve tickets …

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