What A DUI Taught Me

What A DUI Taught Me

What happens when you wake up upside down dripping blood? What happens when the only person at fault was you? What happens when your entire life comes crashing down?

I was your typical pre-med student at the University of Pittsburgh. People looked up to me, and praised me for my hard work. I was up every single weekday at 7am, and went to bed at 4am after working in a hospital. I did what I needed to do just to get right where I wanted to be academically, financially, and in life. I never thought one mistake could take that all away from me.

Last July 4th I thought I was okay to get behind a wheel after a family party. I was not. I lost control of my new car and rolled more than 3 times. My BAC was 0.162, and as a level 1 trauma (the most severe) I was hospitalized. I couldn’t subtract 7 from 15, and I couldn’t walk for a few days, but I was alive.

The first thought I had after I became conscious was: “What just happened, is there another car?” After crawling out the back window, I searched around in what seemed like a pitch black field for another car, for another person who was harmed by me. Once I found no indication of anyone else, I did what any pre-med student would do: I frantically searched for my brand new, clearly expensive (thanks college) Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. Don’t ask me why. Eventually a car came by, and thankfully those people from high school recognized me and called for help.

The hardest thing to do in this world is to look your family in the eyes while in a hospital bed plugged in to a million things and admit “I am sorry.” I couldn’t do it. I balled my eyes out. I let them down. I let my school down. I let every single person in my life down. I let my morals and ethics fly away, and I let my dreams go up in flames. Years and years of hard work to get to the point in my life where I was happy was thrown down the drain. My medical school application I was working on? GONE. The routine hours spent volunteering? GONE.

It doesn’t matter what my GPA was, or how well I did on my MCATs. It doesn’t matter if I never missed a day of school since Kindergarten, or that I spent routine hours volunteering in the nearby hospital’s surgical/trauma ICU. It doesn’t matter if I always put my seatbelt on before I started my car and drove. I got behind a wheel of a car after drinking, and I had to face the consequences. It doesn’t matter what kind of person I am, I have to face the embarrassment and shame of it all.

What is embarrassing? Being a pre-medicine student, only a few hops away from being a medical student and making one of the dumbest decisions any one could possibly make in their life. What is shameful? The fact that over and over again the saying “Don’t drink and drive” is pounded into your brain from such an early age, and I made that mistake that could have taken away a life (or a few) from this world. I told myself I would never drink and drive… but here I am.

The main thing that pains me every time I think about the accident is that I was fortunate enough to have only harmed myself. I could have killed someone. I could have killed an innocent family traveling safely and soberly home on the holiday. It was as if I got behind the wheel and never thought about who I could have harmed, or whose life I could have turned upside down on both ends.

If you think you are okay to get behind a wheel? YOU ARE WRONG. Just when you finally think you have everything in your college career and life figured out, you will ruin it.

So here is what I learned: Think before you do. I could be on my way to medical school right now, but instead I am forced to take a few years off. 10 months later, and I am still dealing with legal issues, and they don’t seem to be getting resolved any time soon.

I have spent hundreds of hours crying the past few months, because I was stupid. I threw away everything I worked so hard to achieve, and now I am set back a few years. I can’t think about the accident and DUI, without my eyes flooding with tears, and when someone asks me if I learned my lesson, I fight back the tears and think: “God only knows.”

So my advice to you? Don’t drink and drive. Don’t risk your life or your future. Don’t you dare risk the life of anyone else. You are not invincible. Ask yourself what your family would do if they had a knock on their door with a message that you had one two many drinks before getting behind a wheel and dying? What would you do if you woke up and find out you killed a mother and her child because you got behind that wheel after drinking? Seriously, what would you do?

I got behind a wheel after drinking, and I could have easily hurt or killed someone. I deserve the embarrassment. I deserve the shame. I deserve every single consequence the state legally wants to throw my way, and I more than deserve every medical school denying me the privilege of trust after this. I may have only made one big mistake in my life, but I have to live with it and become a wiser person with each passing day. I have to learn to be patient and never give up on my dreams in the meantime.

I have no one to blame, but me. So take it as you will. If you want to destroy your future, you go for it, but whatever you do, don't you dare put the life of a family member, friend, or complete stranger in danger. Please listen to me, it will never be worth getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking.

Cover Image Credit: Christopher Dixon

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22 Girl Names Your Random College Roommate Will Have, And The Type Of Roommate They Are

Will she be your BFF?

Every roommate situation in college is going to be different.

All you can do is hope and pray that they'll just leave you alone for the most part. A lot of the time, you can get a hint about what kind of roommate they'll be just knowing their first name.

1. Hailey

Her dad pays her rent. She can't cook. Litters the kitchen with take out boxes from the local vegan joint.

2. Beth

Totally wants you to go to SoulCycle with her at 6 a.m. on a Saturday. Room is littered with leggings and sneakers.

3. Michelle

Comes home at 3 a.m. after a night of heavy drinking. Loudly makes some sort of frozen meal. Sleeps through her noon alarm.

4. Victoria

Probably has dark hair and an acoustic guitar. Keeps pretty much to herself. Does homework in the living room at obscure hours.

5. Madison

Was on the dance team in high school and has not stopped telling you about how great it was. Does work out videos on the TV in the living room.

6. Kim

Brings her boyfriend over every night of the week. Brings different boys home on the weekends.

7. Megan

Actively avoids cleaning the bathroom. Leaves her dishes in the sink. You haven't seen her shower in four days.

8. Erica

Normal. Quiet. Wants to be a high school English teacher.

9. Erika

Wild. Emotionally distraught always. Is always hosting the pre-game. Never comes home with all of the clothes she left wearing.

10. Sarah

"Definitely should have got into Harvard, but I ended up here instead." Too into trying to get a 4.0 to pay attention to you.

11. Julia

Studies music performance. Screams expletives at her keyboard. Cannot play the trumpet, but still tries really hard.

12. Hannah

So tall she almost hits her head on the doorways. Plays basketball. Raps to old Kanye in the shower.

13. Jenny

Should not be allowed to go out. Goes out every weekend anyway. Throws up in your bathtub and doesn't always address it in the morning.

14. Heather

Stressing about her internship. Is currently failing all of her classes. Will somehow still get a 3.5 GPA this semester.

15. Grace

You never see her, only the hairballs she leaves all around your place.

16. Emma

Only has guy friends because "it's easier." Guy friends who leave empty beer cans out after every sporting event on TV.

17. Caitlyn

Has a 4.0 as a biology major. Is going to med school. Sterilizes her room, the bathroom and the kitchen sink every four hours.

18. Sam

Always has a paper about feminism to write. Rosie the Riveter poster in her room.

19. Alex

Is probably dating her boss. Has straight Ds in all her classes.

20. Taylor

Is somehow always home when you're home. You know nothing about her other than where she's from.

21. Alyssa

Trying to become the next big YouTuber. Has lighting equipment all over the place. You constantly hear the phrase, "Hey guys, welcome to my channel!" She squealed because yesterday she hit 25 subscribers.

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11 Thoughts All Rising Seniors Have As Junior Year Ends

Inside the mind of a rising senior who eager for summer yet scared of applying to colleges.

The end of junior year brings some inner turmoil; students want to enjoy their summer before the hassle of applying to colleges, but they also don't want to slack off too much and put their admissions at risk. Here are some common thoughts that some of us may have.

1. Yesss, it's finally summer!

No more late nights, assessments or terrible cafeteria food and two months of binge watching Netflix. We choose to ignore the fact that we'll have to start the grind again for senior year.

2. Gotta start cracking on those SAT subject tests.

Now that all school work is done, it's time to start studying AGAIN for those pesky subject tests that show how much you've forgotten since the AP exam. And on test day, you will be reunited with your fellow classmates a little too early.

3. Senior Pictures!

Let's be real, your yearbook picture must look flawless. That is why you need to perfect your makeup routine and make an appointment with Cady Studios to get that amazing picture. And think of a bomb senior quote to go with it.

4. Me n' my girls

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5. The Beach

Everyone will go to the beach at one point during the summer, and you'll be seeing bikini clad girls all over your Instagram feed. But it doesn't matter where you go as long as you are taking a break from school and exploring some exotic locations!

6. Oh no . . . AP Exam scores?

Around July, College Board will remind you to check your AP Exam scores via email. You can choose to ignore it or stress over your potential score. Remember, it is OK if you do not get a five; you did your best!

7. Shopping, shopping and more shopping

Chances are that you haven't shopped in forever because of your busy schedule but not anymore. Hit up Northpoint Mall for a new wardrobe and accessories! Gotta set the bar high for the seniors after you!

8. Summer homework?

The two months of freedom we get is simply an elongated version of a weekend, meaning there will be homework due on the first day back. And if you are taking more AP classes, you can expect the homework to be extremely confusing.

9. Weight gain . . . yay.

Eating is hard when you are in a stress filled environment with 50 assessments due the next day. But you won't be able to let your inhibitions hold you back when you have two months off with junk food all in the fridge.

10. What's cardio?

You will be content sitting sitting on the couch, texting all your friends and Netflixing. In fact, you may notice a lack of vitamin D and your skin getting paler. Don't be alarmed; your true potential as a couch potato is shining through.

11. Sleeping a little too much . . .

You might get a little bored with nothing to do, so sleeping comes naturally. You may lose chunks out of your day, but at least you'll be well rested for your late night festivities.

Though these thoughts may reign supreme on your to do list this summer, make sure you forget about school for a while and have some fun!

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