A lot of this is personal experience. And a lot of this has nothing to do with depression … just how crushing university/college can be in itself. Add depression to the mix and it’s easy to come crashing down. I remember in my third year I had to go with a lightened workload just so I could manage it. I know more people who couldn’t manage it and dropped out. It really can be a challenge, and not for the right reasons.
I remember well the constant feeling of pressure and panic. It followed me every term as I struggled to fulfill all my expectations in an incredibly competitive atmosphere. Tension followed me home and caused friction with my parents; they responded by kicking me out of the house several times, leaving me to not only deal with my workload but scramble to find a place to live and a means to pay for it. I came out of it pretty damaged. Even twenty years later, I am still haunted by frequent nightmares of being back in university and having tests I’m not prepared for and assignments I haven’t done. The feeling of intense panic ran that deep that it still affects my subconscious. I wake up and have to remind myself that I’m not in university and I’m okay.
Artistically, I spent a lot of time on that dump truck in the last panel. I ended up getting a 3D model and using that as reference because I couldn’t find a decent picture of the back end of a dump truck on the internet.