Episode notes

When Emi Nietfeld was applying to colleges, she had her eyes set firmly on the Ivy League. Through her childhood years spent in foster care, shelters, psychiatric hospitals, very occasionally with her problematic mother, and finally a boarding school, Emi was fixated on getting into the most difficult college she could. In an effort to tell her full story, she wrote an application essay that included the struggles she had experienced with mental health issues like eating disorders, depression, and suicidality. That’s what she sent off to Yale as her early decision application and she didn’t get in. Then Emi went back, kept all the homelessness stuff but removed the mental health portions and subsequently gained acceptance into Harvard.

Emi discusses the various meanings of the term “acceptance” in her life and why she chose to write about her own sexual assault in unsparing detail.

Emi Nietfeld’s memoir, Acceptance: A Memoir, is out now and will be available in paperback August 1st, 2023. Learn more about Emi and her writing by visiting her website, www.EmiNietfeld.com.

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In this episode...


  • Emi Nietfeld

About the show

Join host John Moe (The Hilarious World of Depression) for honest, relatable, and, yes, sometimes funny conversations about mental health. Hear from comedians, musicians, authors, actors, and other top names in entertainment and the arts about living with depression, anxiety, and many other common disorders. Find out what they’ve done to address it, what worked, and what didn’t. Depresh Mode with John Moe also features useful insights on mental health issues with experts in the field. It’s honest talk from people who have been there and know their stuff. No shame, no stigma, and maybe a few laughs.

Like this podcast? Then you’ll love John’s book, The Hilarious World of Depression.

Logo by Clarissa Hernandez.

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