End Of Semester Chills

My Professor Gifted Something So Beautiful To Me, It Gave Me Chills

Not chills from being cold or sick.

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An end of the year gift from my "professional skills in dietetics" professor gave me chills, and perhaps you will feel it too after reading this.

Throughout several assignments this semester, I shared a lot with my professor about my past eating disorder, recovery journey, and current lingering struggles. One assignment we had to do was write a personal statement, in which I wrote about how my recovery journey influenced my interest in nutrition. My professor was very applauding and gave praise to everything I have overcome so far. Her remarks and support really meant a lot to me. We also submitted several diary entries, in which I wrote about my daily battles in choosing recovery every day. My professor's responses were so insightful and helpful. I could tell she truly cared about my well-being and having her support, again, meant a lot to me.

For our final assignment, we had to make a collage of pictures representing us and give a presentation to the class about them. In my collage, I included a side-by-side picture of me from when I was in the throes of anorexia compared to me now. I talked about how much of an impact my recovery journey has had on me and my entire life. Again, my professor and my class were very supportive of me.

At the end of class, my professor gave everyone a special gift. She brought a deck of "power cards," all of which had different inspirational quotes. She shuffled the deck to make sure they were randomized and handed them out to each person. What was written on my card gave me literal chills.

On one side, the card read, "I forgive myself." On the other side, it read, "As I forgive myself, I leave behind all feelings of not being good enough, and I am free to love myself."

Self-forgiveness and self-love are two of the hardest things to achieve in eating disorder recovery and are key factors in staying recovered. I strive to live by them every single day. But still, every so often, something happens to me and I have a very difficult time forgiving myself for it - this past weekend being one of those time. But now I will have this little card to forever remind me how important self-forgiveness is. I am not perfect, but that's okay. I still deserve to love myself, no matter what. I forgive myself for my imperfections. I am good enough, and I love myself for who I am.


Side 1Lauren Burkholder

Side 2Lauren Burkholder

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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