All You Need Is Love

All You Need Is Love

How endless support and encouragement saves lives.
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September celebrates Suicide Prevention Week from the 5th until the 11th! In honor of those struggling and recovering from depression, anxiety, self-harm, and addiction, I would like to shine light on two organizations that I hold dear to my heart; To Write Love On Her Arms and Delta Xi Delta Sorority.

To Write Love On Her Arms is growing and gaining popularity faster than founder, Jamie Tworkowski ever dreamed. For those who may not be familiar with the non-profit movement, TWLOHA is dedicated to raising awareness about depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicide, and addiction, as well as to provide endless support for those struggling. Back in 2006, in attempts to help a close friend, Tworkowski posted his friend's story to MySpace and titled it, "To Write Love On Her Arms." Letters of appreciation and encouragement flooded in from those sharing their personal stories and in 2007, TWLOHA became an official organization.

"Though she be but little, she is fierce!" - William Shakespeare

Delta Xi Delta is a local sorority here at Montclair State University, and like TWLOHA, also started out small but is growing each year. So what else do the two have in common? Well, in 2013, with the same goal of helping others in mind, Delta Xi Delta adopted To Write Love On Her Arms as the sorority's official philanthropy.

TWLOHA encourages people to share their story in order to help others and receive the support they themselves need. One of Delta Xi Delta's very brave sisters did just that:

"Growing up I never knew what addiction or even depression was. I was never aware that there were people who suffer from this so badly and may even depend on drugs or alcohol to live. Where I am from, substance abuse has become one of the biggest problems that people of all ages suffer from. Drug use and over dose has become an epidemic. But never did I think that I would be up here telling a story on how I am not an addict but how addiction ruined me. Finding out you have lost your friend to a drug isn't the easiest thing to hear. Especially when that person is still alive but wants absolutely nothing to do with you. You never see them anymore and they never come home. It is like a part of you is missing. The emptiness is indescribable. To everyone suffering from anxiety and depression, to those who have a loved one suffering from addiction, you are not alone. It is okay to want to laugh and cry at the same time. It is okay to kick and scream because I totally have."

- Heather Murphy


This past spring, Delta Xi Delta hosted their third annual "All You Need Is Love Walk," which donated all of the proceeds to TWLOHA. The sisters of Delta Xi Delta, as well as the many supporters that the event drew set out to walk the Montclair campus in honor of those suffering with depression, anxiety, self-harm, and addiction. The walk not only raised money for a wonderful organization, through games, activities, and guest speakers, it brought our campus closer. Both organizations have taught me so much about the power of love, friendship and how an endless support system can truly change lives. There are so many ways to get involved!


For more information on To Write Love On Her Arms visit, www.twloha.com

For more information on Delta Xi Delta's upcoming events or recruitment please visit, @deltaxidelta on Instagram.

Cover Image Credit: Google

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To All The Nurses In The Making

We tell ourselves that one day it'll all pay off, but will it actually?
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I bet you’re taking a break from studying right now just to read this, aren’t you? Either at the library with friends or in your dorm room. Wherever you may be, you never get the chance to put your books down, at least that’s how it feels to most of us. It sucks feeling like you’ve chosen the hardest major in the world, especially when you see other students barely spending any time studying or doing school work. The exclamation “You’re still here!” is an all too frequent expression from fellow students after recognizing that you’ve spent 10-plus hours in the library. At first it didn’t seem so bad and you told yourself, “This isn’t so difficult, I can handle it,” but fast-forward a few months and you’re questioning if this is really what you want to do with your life.

You can’t keep track of the amount of mental breakdowns you’ve had, how much coffee you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve called your mom to tell her that you’re dropping out. Nursing is no joke. Half the time it makes you want to go back and change your major, and the other half reminds you why you want to do this, and that is what gets you through it. The thing about being a nursing major is that despite all the difficult exams, labs and overwhelming hours of studying you do, you know that someday you might be the reason someone lives, and you can’t give up on that purpose. We all have our own reasons why we chose nursing -- everyone in your family is a nurse, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’re good at it, or like me, you want to give back to what was given to you. Regardless of what your reasoning is, we all take the same classes, deal with the same professors, and we all have our moments.

I’ve found that groups of students in the same nursing program are like a big family who are unconditionally supportive of each other and offer advice when it’s needed the most. We think that every other college student around us has it so easy, but we know that is not necessarily true. Every major can prove difficult; we’re just a little harder on ourselves. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with your school work and you want to give up, give yourself a minute to imagine where you’ll be in five years -- somewhere in a hospital, taking vitals, and explaining to a patient that everything will be OK. Everything will be worth what we are going through to get to that exact moment.

Remember that the stress and worry about not getting at least a B+ on your anatomy exam is just a small blip of time in our journey; the hours and dedication suck, and it’s those moments that weed us out. Even our advisors tell us that it’s not easy, and they remind us to come up with a back-up plan. Well, I say that if you truly want to be a nurse one day, you must put in your dedication and hard work, study your ass off, stay organized, and you WILL become the nurse you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let someone discourage you when they relent about how hard nursing is. Take it as motivation to show them that yeah, it is hard, but you know what, I made it through.

With everything you do, give 110 percent and never give up on yourself. If nursing is something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, stick with it and remember the lives you will be impacting someday.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee O'Neal

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I'm 22 And I Still Don't Have My Driver's License, But It Doesn't Bother Me

Although sometimes it's inconvenient not to have one, it's not a major concern to me.

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When you turn 16, the one thing you can't wait to do is get your license so you can finally have your first taste of freedom and no longer need your parents to drive you around anywhere.

When I was 16, I had no intentions of getting my license because I had no interest in driving.

I'm 22 now and I still don't have my license. Although sometimes it's inconvenient not to have one, it's not a major concern to me.

Before you ask yourself why I still don't have it, you should know that me not having my license is not entirely a personal decision.

It's part me not trusting myself and part having a disability.

I have cerebral palsy, and if you don't know what that is, it's a disorder of the cerebellum that affects things such as balance, coordination, muscle movements and reaction times.

Having a fast reaction time and strong leg muscles are something that you need in order to drive a car. You've always got to watch for that one crazy driver who blows through the red light and constantly press down on the pedal, because how else would the car move?

Don't get me wrong. I do have my permit. I got it shortly after my eighteenth birthday and taking the test four, yes, four, times. I've been behind the wheel a few times on residential streets in my town, so I know the basics of driving a car, but it's hard for me.

I use my left foot to control both the gas and the break because the cerebral palsy is in the right half of my body. This is unfortunate for me because you need your right foot to drive. I'm not sure how I learned, but I found that using my left foot is a lot easier for me.

But, I learned pretty quickly that you can't do that when taking the actual driving test.

I haven't been behind the wheel of a car in quite a while because, truthfully, I've been busy. When I'm not at work, I'm at school, when I'm not at school, I'm at work.

I'm at school sometimes more than 12 hours a day because of homework and my internship and I work on the weekends at the same place my dad works at, so we ride together.

My mom drops me off at school in the morning before she goes to work and picks me up in the evening and my friends drive to all the concerts we attend.

I don't make that much at work, and my internship is paid but I don't get a lot from there, and I have student loans, a credit card and medical bills and my credit isn't that great yet, so I don't really have any money to buy a car.

Why have a license if I don't have the funds to purchase a car at the moment?

Sure, if I absolutely need a ride somewhere and my parents aren't home, it's a little difficult finding one if all my friends are busy, but that's about the only trouble it gives me.

I'm pretty much a homebody and I only have a few close friends that I enjoy hanging out with, and during the school year, I'm hardly ever home during the day anyway.

It gets a little annoying when my friends, family, co-workers and sometimes professors ask me when I'm going to get my license, but I try to explain it in the nicest way possible.

Without using my disability as the primary excuse, I let them know that I'm just not ready to drive nor do I have any way to purchase a car.

Maybe in the future, when I'm out of school and I have my finances under control, I will work on getting a car AND THEN my license.

I am aware and fully understand that the day will come when my parents won't be here to give me a ride anymore, but everyone else needs to understand that driving is a personal decision and not everyone is ready to do so at the age of 16.

And that's perfectly okay.

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