I Hit Rock Bottom, And Here's What I Learned From It

I Hit Rock Bottom, And Here's What I Learned From It

You can only go up.
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The College of Charleston has been my dream school for as long as I can remember. When I came here, I was the happiest I’ve ever been.

The sun, the warmth, the freedom, the countless number of friends that I was meeting everywhere I seemed to go and just everything about college I absolutely adored. I was getting good grades and making tons of friends along the way. I even met a boy.

Everything was perfect. I was in love with life. I worked so hard in high school to get to this point in my life and I was just so proud of myself and so content with who I was. Even after my first semester I was living large, over winter break i reconnected with an old friend from high school and had the time of my life. I was living my best life!

But second semester came around and something changed. School got harder. My unhealthy living situation continued into the second half of the school year.

Days seemed to get longer. My friend group split apart for unknown reasons and on top of that, I had my first heartbreak. All of this happening at the same time made me go into a downward spiral. You would have never guessed it because social media makes everything look peachy-keen all of the time.

My parents didn’t even know because when they called I never had the guts to tell them what was really going on. But I was alone. I suddenly went from living my best life to sitting in my common room with a plate full of chicken nuggets and Adele blasting in the background, tissues everywhere. I was so upset, frustrated, and unhappy with every aspect of my life I started to isolate myself from my friends. I missed one of my best friend’s birthday dinner simply because I could not get myself to stop being so emotional. That caused me to even feel more alone. I was a hot mess, and nobody but my suitemates knew it.

My decision-making skills were so off it came to the point where a close friend had to tell me that they were disappointed in me. When I heard those words come out of her mouth, I was crushed. I’ve never had someone tell me that they were disappointed in me.

In fact, I’ve never disappointed myself. I was disappointed in myself and who I’ve become, and this was an eye-opening experience. I realized that I have to stop being this person that I’ve become and start being the girl who I used to be. I hit rock bottom, and I can only go up from here. I need to go up, and move on with my life. So what can I do?

The first thing I did was get more involved on campus. I joined a sorority, Best decision I've ever made. I went into it not knowing anyone, not even knowing what Phi Mu was all about. But the more I talked to people in it and the more research I did about their philanthropy, the more I wanted to join.

Well, I joined, and slowly but surely I can happily say that I am finding my people. I am realizing that the people I hung out with first semester weren’t really my people, and the more involved I get with Phi Mu the more I realize how much of a perfect fit it is for me.

The second thing I did was move out. Although extremely hard at first, (if you know me you know that I am extremely close with my suitemates), due to other circumstances it’s something I knew I had to do in order for me to feel better. I moved out and just saying those words makes me feel so much better.

The third thing I did was let this boy go. I spent all of this time and energy on this one boy first semester and although I am thankful for all of the memories, it never went anywhere and quite frankly it was a big waste of my time. Don’t get me wrong, he’s an amazing person and anybody would be lucky to have him in their life, but we wanted two different things at the time and it just wasn't going to work out. And accepting the fact that it was not going anywhere was hard. But I had to let go.

Although it has only been a few days since doing those three things, I already feel so refreshed and ready for this new start. I know I can’t move out everytime something bad happens, but I also know through hitting rock bottom that sometimes I just need to put myself first. I need to put my happiness before others, even if that means moving out or cutting ties with a special someone.

Cover Image Credit: Craigs List

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Netflix broke everyone's heart and then stitched them back together within a matter of 12 hours the other day.

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What Do You Do When Tragedy Strikes Your Former Home?

In my desperate attempt to figure this out, I'm writing about it.

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On November 8th, I woke up with a voicemail from my mom. It went a little like this,

"Hey, it's Momma. I'm sorry it's really early your time, but I wanted to have you hear from me before you got the news on. There was a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks last night at a country bar about ten minutes from where our house was in Moorpark. There are 12 people dead, the shooter is dead, and a cop. It was college night at the bar, so anyone over 18 could go in. There were students from multiple colleges there, that's all they know so far. It's just horrible." And so on. I made it about halfway through the voicemail before I pulled out my laptop.

A thousand thoughts ran through my mind. This is what is referred to as one of the safest towns in America. This town was a short drive away from my home in Moorpark. These people are mostly my age. Then, the worst one occurred to me. What if when they display the victims' pictures, I recognize a face?

According to USAToday, the Thousand Oaks shooting is the 307th shooting on the 311th day of 2018. Are we supposed to allow ourselves to be desensitized to this gun violence? I sure hope not. I'll save you the agony of listening to how the rest of my day went. Long story short, I watched the news and cried more than I'd like to admit.

As the day carried on, I watched the pictures come up on my computer screen. I scrolled through social media and looked at my friend's posts of their friends being safe. Somehow, that did not calm me down. I watched the victim's faces pop up one by one on my laptop, and I listened to the stories.

All country music lovers, all college students, all heroes who helped save the lives of others before they lost their own. It was not until Friday that I realized I did recognize one of the faces. I logged onto my Facebook to get rid of a notification, and there it was. A picture of my childhood swim coaches, and Noel Sparks. Now, I understand that it's been years, but that doesn't make it any better. Each victim of the shooting had so much more life to be lived, and my heart breaks for each one of them. I send all of my love to the family, friends, and everyone affected by the Borderline shooting.

Not even a day later, there was news of a fire that is rapidly spreading. According to CBS News, The Woolsey fire has burned 98,362 acres of land and is only about 57% contained. While this fire has only 3 confirmed fatalities, the second fire that is burning in California has taken the lives of 56 people and burned 140,000 acres of land. I can spit out as many facts as my fingers can research, but it doesn't change the fact that my heart aches for my former home. When all of this tragedy happens and I'm 1,835 miles away, I have never felt so helpless. I donated to the victim's families, but I have not found a way to make sense of this in my mind. Why do these things happen? There's no concrete answer to this question, so am I going to wonder it forever?

If you would like to find a place to donate to the Borderline victims' families, click here. If you would like to find a place to donate to the victims' of the fires, click here.

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