Stress & Success: Georgetown

A student documentary about Georgetown University's stress culture, busyness, pre-professionalism, club culture and the lack of an adequate mental health safety net on the undergraduate college campus.

We have compiled the most exhaustive ethnographic account of Georgetown social culture ever attempted to date, featuring interviews with more than 40 students, administrators, religious leaders, professors and mental health professionals on subjects ranging from extra-curricular life to Georgetown's club scene to the university's mental health safety net.

  • Scott Goldstein
  • Rebecca Rose Marrow
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Student
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 34 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 4, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

Stress & Success: Georgetown originally began as a senior thesis project for two Georgetown students. Fellow classmates Scott Goldstein and Bex Marrow decided to use the medium of film to conduct an ethnographic examination of the undergraduate culture on campus. As they interviewed their classmates on the topic of Georgetown culture, recurring themes surfaced; ranging from academic to social pressures and chronic lack of sleep, ultimately all pointing to serious strain on the mental health and wellness of the student body. Scott and Bex realized that although some students thrive in a hyper-competitive of environment, many do not. Thus, they decided to ask the question, “What support exists for those who struggle to thrive at Georgetown?”

Stress & Success documents four components of Georgetown University undergraduate life: the escalation of busyness, the prevailing club-based social groupings, the environment of pre-professionalism and the desire to “fake it ‘til you make it.” Many of the students who chose to speak on camera detailed the stress, anxiety and isolation they felt as they tried to tread water in such a hyper-competitive environment. Throughout the film students, professors, mental health professionals, clergy and administrators address the biggest challenges to accessing mental health care on campus. Stigma about mental illness, cost of services, poor reputation of resources available and feelings of isolation are the largest factors impacting the decisions of Georgetown students not to seek mental health support on campus. Among those interviewed, four students who struggled with depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders discussed their difficult experiences with the university trying to access the care they needed. The documentary concludes with several students acknowledging the community’s failure to live up to Georgetown’s espoused Jesuit values, the most important being cura personalis, or care for the entire person.

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