Students Are Using Social Media To Share The Struggles Their Classmates Don't Know They Face

"I was counting calories and skipping as many meals as possible."

As the school year starts up again, many students will face challenges that negatively impact their mental health and general well-being. Whether they're trying their hardest to "fit in," struggling to manage their difficult course load, or battling a mental health issue, many teens and young adults often feel overwhelmed, misunderstood, and alone. 

Shine — an inspirational text messaging service which aims to boost people's confidence, happiness, and productivity — hopes to address some of the stress with going back to school with their new campaign, The Flip Side. The campaign aims to get people to sign up for five days for free customized daily texts that help students recognize the flip side of common stressors at school. These can include topics such as FOMO and distractions. 

As part of the campaign, the Shine team asks students to use social media to #ShareTheFlipSide of their experience. They ask that people reveal one thing their classmates know about them as well as something they don't know. For example, classmates may know someone is a passionate athlete, but may not know that he or she struggles with depression. 

Shine offers flashcard templates students can use that say "What My Classmates Know" on one side and "Don't Know" on the other, but students can feel free to create their own. The hope is that this will show people that they're not alone in whatever they are going through. In addition, it may help to open up conversations about some of these issues. 

"There is so much pressure to balance all the responsibilities of being a college student," Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, co-founders of Shine, said in a press release. "With The Flip Side, we're helping normalize all the struggles that comes with that pressure and offering students a preventive tool to help handle it — all through messaging."

Several people have already taken to social media to open up about the things their classmates don't know about them. You can check out some of the submissions from the campaign below. 

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Courtesy of Shine 
Courtesy of Shine 

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Courtesy of Shine 
Courtesy of Shine 

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Courtesy of Shine 
Courtesy of Shine 

Cover image via Unsplash

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