"Hey, its life."

"Hey, its life."

When your life turns upside down and you're left alone to deal with it
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Change in life is inevitable. Change hits us when we least expect it. Sometimes we are knowingly responsible for what will happen in our lives. For example, knowing that you are going to attend college after high school is a change that you know is going to happen. However, not all change is expected, and this sometimes can flip your whole world upside down.

My freshman year of college at Hofstra University was everything I had imagined and more. My roommate was one of my best friends, my residence hall floor mates all became my family, and I met some of the most amazing people in my classes. I was constantly surrounded by people. Every night all of us floor mates would gather in my room and we would talk, eat meals together, make jokes, listen to music, and just truly enjoy each other's company. There is nothing more beautiful than getting to know other people and realizing the depth and value they possess. We became the "6th floor family."

In class, I met people who shared similar career interests as me, and it was truly inspiring to be in a room of people who shared my goals. Study groups began to form, and soon we all became best friends. We had deep emotional conversations when we were frustrated by an upcoming test or when we were just simply doubting our choices to pursue the career path we had chosen. My 6th floor family and my classmates became a large part of my life. They saw me smile, laugh, cry, yell, succeed, fail, and for the first time in my life, I wasn't lonely. And for someone who has battled loneliness, this was like hitting the jack pot. However, not all good things last for as long as you hope.

By the end of my freshman year, my roommate transferred to another school, half of my 6th floor family were moving into new residence halls for the next year, and the other half had been here on a one year program and were going back to their home countries. Everything was changing, and I was not ready. Suddenly, it felt as though nothing could ever be the same for me and my whole world was falling apart. There were hugs, tears, and exchanged words of keeping in touch forever, but I knew it just wouldn't be that way. The friends I made in classes were now all going in different directions, and of course I would still hold on to my closest friends, but, like I said before, it just wasn't going to be the same.

I started my sophomore year of college with low expectations and a heavy heart. I moved into a new residence hall with a new roommate whom I didn't even know. She is one of the amazing people I have ever met, so that was one thing I had going for me. My new floor was quiet, filled with people I didn't know and the silence was almost unbearable. I was used to open doors and voices filling the hallways, and now all I heard was the sound of closing doors by people who did not even know my name. My classes were filled with people I didn't know, and the comfort of knowing people that I had from the year before was fading away before my eyes. I started having a lot more alone time and interacted less with other people. I felt lonely, and soon I began developing social anxiety. It felt as though I was living in an alternate universe and I did not have anyone to pull me out of the funk that I was trapped in. I used to think to myself, "How could my life change so much from one year to the next?"

The point is -- I was and still am struggling a great deal with this drastic change in my life. However, I have learned to cherish the people who have stayed in my life, and I have gained a more positive outlook on meeting new people. Maybe this painful change was needed to make way for another phase of my life where I meet new people and rebuild my life again. I have also come to terms with the fact that life is changing constantly and that it is vital to have the strength to accept the change in a positive way. Everything in life happens for a reason and sometimes the best things happen in the hardest ways. It is important to evaluate your own ability to combat hardships and grow in the face of those hardships. I think I am slowly entering a point in my life where I am beginning to let new people in, and I am excited for what the future holds, still keeping those people and memories close to my heart.

Life is a struggle, but one that is worth the fight.

Cover Image Credit: Wall Papers Charlie

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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These Are Not The Actions of An Innocent Man

Trump claims there was absolutely nothing illegal going on during the election - so why is he trying to stop the truth from coming out?
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I won't talk about the investigation, nor speculate what's going on. We simply do not know just what exactly Robert Mueller has found, nor do we know how severe the impact will be. However, I want to address the facts we do know. The Trump campaign had communications with Russian officials, the Russians hacked into servers and systems to alter public view to make Trump win the electorate (we don't use the public because the system is outdated), and Robert Mueller III, former FBI director, is investigating the president for collusion and obstruction of justice – both being impeachable offenses. If you want to know how all this started, I wrote an article last year about the firing of James Comey. And well, since then (and long before), Trump has tried to end a fair and just investigation. Innocent people do not act this way.

Trump said that Mueller should not investigate any money or business deals, as those are his personal “red line.” And on April 9, following a tip from the Mueller team, the FBI office in New York City raided Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen's offices for documents, using a no-knock warrant signed by a Trump-appointed federal judge. Prior to this, several indictments had been handed down from the Special Counsel, including ones for campaign officials such as Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General for the United States, has kept his stance very clear – Mueller is within his rights and will not be fired. But after the Cohen raid (which Cohen himself said was appropriate, whatever that means), Trump has considered firing Rosenstein as he cannot fire Mueller, and AG Jeff Sessions has recused himself and has no knowledge beyond what we the people know about the goings on with the investigation. Yes, it is true that Mueller told Trump he wasn't a target of the investigation, but he did inform his legal team that he was still a subject and there is a near complete report on obstruction of justice and possible other crimes committed while in office. And now he wants to fire those who are holding him accountable. These are the facts, and can all be verified easily. Perhaps it's because he's never been held accountable in his life and expects it to just go away, or he's trying to cover up a high crime that would get him impeached and even jailed for doing. As we find out more and more, and he says he's actively considering firing them, the latter is more likely.

This is not how innocent men act. If Trump was truly innocent and there was no wrong-doing, he would be cooperative and help the Counsel by any means. He'd let it go without issue to prove his innocence. However, he has attempted to stop it from continuing several times, believing he is above the law and that Mueller and his team are leading a “witch hunt” against him. If he had committed no crime, he would be supportive and willing to work with the team. There would already be completed interviews. But there is not. Trump obviously has been up to no good, he's tried to fire Mueller or Rosenstein several times just because they're investigating his campaign, his family, and himself. Trump even admitted to obstruction of justice by trying to fire Mueller and firing Comey to stop the investigation, because he wanted to “fight back.” If he did no wrong than he wouldn't need to retaliate. The entire thing would be over by now if there was nothing of substance, but it's still going strong and more and more people are being questioned and documents are being subpoenaed. For that matter, Trump and the leadership of the RNC are trying to discredit Comey with out of context quotes and flat out lies to cause their base to turn against the FBI – that way if and when Mueller comes out with his findings, then they can try and say it's all fake and for their supporters to fight back. Innocent people do not try and end an investigation, let alone attempt to ruin someone's reputation.

Republicans and conservatives without party (basically Republicans) have mostly excused these actions and say the president should be allowed to do his job. But if he did steal the election, should he be allowed to continue? No, and everybody complicit should be in jail. If he didn't, then the investigation would have already proved that. Republicans want a dictatorship, if they didn't then they wouldn't be supporting Trump and his belief that he can make all the laws and go after journalists and order people upholding the law to be fired. If you're registered R and you don't like the way the party is going, be a real patriot and change to independent or Democrat, because you're aiding and abetting treason and the destruction of the justice system. I'm serious, if you care about this country then make the official on paper split from the GOP. If not, then you're just as much at fault as the ones at the top who sold off the presidency. And yeah the Democrats haven't exactly been the shining example of politics in this country, but at least right now they aren't covering up the destruction of our elections and with that the American system of government. I dare a Republican to explain why they'd let Trump get away with all this yet still consider themselves a patriot. As I said, the RNC is officially running with Trump's methods of lying and slander against officials. They are no longer a party of patriots, rather a party of people covering up high treason. They need to be willing to speak out against him if they want to really show love of country. If they're not ashamed to call themselves a Republican, then you need to get far away from them and do it fast, because their views, no matter what they say, are connected to a group that wants elections stolen and criminals installing fascism in the country. Nobody is above the law, and that includes the President of the United States and leadership of political parties.

By the time you read this, there will be more developments in this story, be it indictments or firings. The Department of Homeland Security is preparing a list of journalists and bloggers who are speaking out against the administration, the president wants to stop an investigation into him and has openly called for his supporters to fight back and rise up. Once again, this is not how innocent people act. Trump is not innocent, because if he was, he wouldn't be trying to end things, he'd be working with Mueller directly. For once in his life he's being held accountable and with consequence, something he's never had to deal with – hence why he's trying to close it all down. If Trump was truly innocent and his campaign did nothing illegal, then he should be supporting the investigation. But he's not, and he's just digging himself deeper and deeper. You don't fire someone because they're looking into your campaign's possible collusion with a foreign government, because then you might as well pack up and go home. And the RNC will stand with Trump even if it comes out that he's a traitor and a Russian plant, because they too have been corrupted by people who would sooner see a nation under the rule of a dictator than one ruled by the people and for the people. Tell your Republican friends and family to either denounce Trump altogether or find a new political party, because sooner or later this will all come crashing down and it's going to cause more division in this country. If they won't, then maybe you need to reconsider being around them. Because anybody who supports a group like this shouldn't be considered true Americans. Innocent men don't do what Trump is doing, and Mueller will be after him. It's only a matter of time.

Cover Image Credit: Erick Tucker and Chad Day/Time

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