Those things are completely different to what this person's been told. She was saying can you make the semester less depressing.
That wasn't how I interpreted what was said, and it doesn't make much sense IMO, why would her friend be asking her to make the semester less depressing...?
I don't understand what's wrong with that. "Maybe she was saying that I should try to do something" - Isn't that exactly what she was saying? I don't understand how else that could be interpreted. There are plenty of things you can do to combat depression, so of course you can make it less depressing.
I have actually had people tell me to be less depressing and that is EXACTLY what they meant, to be less depressing; they weren't suggesting that I try to combat my depression, they were telling me to snap out of it and just be happy. So such reactions do occur. My mother literally
once told me, "Well, get un-depressed!"
But if it was referring to the depression, then all the things that treat/ease depression make it less depressing... how is that oxymoronic?
The way I interpreted the OP's post, her friend was asking her to make her description of her depression less depressing. Depression is naturally a depressing subject...thus the oxymoron.
I agree in that her friend likely REALLY meant what you're suggesting (i. e., find ways to minimize or combat the depression), but the way the friend phrased it (i. e., not coming right out and offering suggestions to treat/ease depression) wasn't helpful. Thus the possible misunderstanding.
Anyway I really don't want to debate this, only the OP knows for sure how it went. I was only offering my perspective based on what was posted, I can't assume things that weren't said. :/
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