Recently, I had someone very special to me help me figure out the main reason last year was such a struggle for me.

A little over a year ago, I went through a series of unfortunate events all at one time. However, I never had an opportunity to come to terms with what happened and heal from it.

By the time that chapter of life was over, it was already time to dive into the next chapter: my Senior year of college.

I anticipated that year being the best year of my life. Unfortunately, it was quite the opposite.

Some of the things that happened in my personal life couldn't be controlled or prevented. However, I easily could've controlled how I responded to them.

When we go through times of struggle, we need people around us to help us through difficult times while helping us remember what it's like to be happy again.

I pretty much didn't have any of that my Senior year.

In other words, I had no community.

All the community I had the year before had basically vanished. My writing team dissipated due to unfair structural changes completely out of our control.

The organizations I was part of were no longer running due to low attendance since pretty much everyone had graduated or left.

I went from living with my best friends to living with complete strangers who couldn't care less about me.

I hardly ever saw my friends. I only left the apartment to go to school and work.

I was unbelievably alone, and I had no sense of belonging.

I was forced to come to terms with the most overwhelming sense of loss I could've ever imagined.

Where was everything I had before? Where were my friends? Where was my team?

Where was my identity?

However, towards the end of that year, things started to look up a little bit.

One of my best friends invited me to go to church with her and her friends.

At first I was against the idea. I didn't think people like me belonged at church.

I was scared to try something new, but I did it anyways.

That's when things finally started to turn around. I finally had a sense of belonging!

I had people around me that loved me. I had a place I belonged to.

I had something to look forward to!

In just a few months, people that started off as strangers became my sisters. I had a support system for the first time in forever.

I will forever be grateful for these amazing people!

Looking back, I'm now aware of how much I blocked my own blessings that year.

When all the groups I belonged to no longer existed, I could've found a new group.

When my identity as a writer began to dissipate, I could've found a new hobby or perfected my writing.

With all the time I spent alone in my room, I could've been making podcasts or YouTube videos.

When I was completely alone, I could've reached out to new people.

It's not about what happens to us that defines us. It's about how we respond to it, which is why we need good people around us to help us in times of struggle.

I will never forget what these amazing girls have done for me.

I will continue the improvement my new community helped me initiate.

Things are going to get better; I'm gonna make sure of it.