My second year of college was one of the toughest years of my life, and college itself wasn't even one of the reasons.

When I left high school, it didn't cross my mind for even a minute that people who I thought were going to be around forever would vanish in an instance. I didn't realize that friendships I valued so much would be snapped in half. But what I really did not know, is how much all of that actually makes sense.

Growing apart from people, even your best friends, is normal. It's normal and we don't talk about it enough. People change, and sometimes, in order for their true growth to occur, that means leaving some people in the past. It doesn't have to be for malicious or hateful reasons. Sometimes it just happens, and it took me a really long time to accept that. Thankfully, I am finally at a place now where I don't stress or constantly get anxious about the people who left me behind because I now choose to believe that they did it with the sole intention of growing as a person and bettering themselves. I can't question the specifics of why what happened, happened. All I can do is believe that it has guided them in the direction they were hoping to go in.

The road to that realization was not an easy one. I was sad for a very long time. Even though some of my friends knew what was going on, there was no way for them to understand the full gravity of the situation, because I made the conscious decision to bury it. I was anxious about every single one of my friendships, all the time, even though everything was fine. I was scared of losing people. I care so deeply for all of the people in my life, so just the thought of losing even one person was heartbreaking. I spent many nights crying, but then putting on a brave face whenever I had to see someone or respond to snapchats. I didn't tell anyone, because I didn't want to be seen as an attention seeking person who just wanted pity. My unwillingness to be completely honest about how I was feeling was a bad decision on my part, and I know that now.

If someone really cares about you, they will listen to whatever you have to say without acting uninterested. They will give you the advice you don't want to hear but desperately need. They won't judge you and will support you no matter what. Even when everything seems terrible and like it's not going your way, there are people in your life who are there to support and help you. So reach out to them, and do not feel ashamed. If you're sad and anxious, know that those feelings are valid.

I am in a great place now. I know that I am cared for and loved by the people in my life. I love my friends more than anything, both the ones at Elon and back home. I am confident in all of my friendships, but more importantly, I am finally happy.

And that's what I deserve.