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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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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I'm Not Feelin' 22, But I'll Make The Most Of It

The reality of becoming another year older and the stress that it may bring.

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Birthdays are all about being the center of attention, - birthday wishes from friends and family, and celebrating another milestone in your life. People go out of their way to buy party favors, set up parties, and buy gifts just to make someone feel special on their birthday. However, some people dread their special day because of anxiety and depression. This past weekend was my 22ndbirthday, and although I'm usually excited for my birthday, this was the birthday I had been dreading.

Birthdays are inevitable. Once you reach past the age of 21, everything seems to go downhill, or at least I think so. Once I realized I was going to be 22 last Sunday, I realized the new responsibilities and norms that come with turning this age. I am a Junior at the University of Arizona, should be a senior, and most of my friends are younger than me. With most of my friends graduating this year at the age of 22, I can't help but feel bad that I will be graduating at the age of 23. After being at a large university for three years, I have felt "behind" because of my age and academic standing. Being the oldest of my friends brings a sense of anxiety out in me and pressure that I should be graduated by now.

Another issue I have with birthdays at this age is the expectation of certain milestones that I have not accomplished yet. With social media being such a large part of our society today, seeing so many different people on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posting pictures of what they are doing every second of the day, it's hard not to feel bad if you are not up to par with others lives. Some people are having babies, while others are going to medical school, where do I fit in?

Although birthdays bring some sense of negativity to me, I think that they should be celebrated in a positive light. My best friend, Colleen, knew I was feeling down about my birthday and wanted to help me feel better about turning the big 2-2. She bought balloons, silly string, and letter banners just to decorate our apartment to make me feel excited about the day. She bought me the most unique presents that only a best friend would know I would have wanted. At the end of the day, we went to my favorite restaurant and with the help of Colleen, my day had turned around.

While you may catch the birthday blues at some point in your lifetime, there are ways to change your attitude on the day. You may hear from someone from the past wishing you a happy birthday that can make you smile, or receive a gift from a family or friend that you had your eye on in the store and they knew you had to have it. Don't compare yourself to others when it comes to birthday plans, live the day how you would like and spend it with the people that matter most to you.

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