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.

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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Success Is Great, But Failure Is Better

Fail and fail often.

Don’t let success get to your head, but don’t let failure get to your heart. Know that things don’t always work out as planned, and that is OK!

For many millennials, it’s easiest to just give up when something doesn’t go your way. But take heart. Success is great, but failure is better. The reality is, you’re going to fail... a lot.

Failure does not mean your idea was not good or that your dream isn’t valid.

Failure means you have more to learn.

Failure is GOOD.

It shows you that you did something wrong and that you need to take a redirection. It’s an opportunity to come back stronger with a better attack plan. It’s a second chance.

Having failed many times in my life, there’s one thing for sure: failing sucks. It sucks being disappointed. It sucks not succeeding on the first try. However, you can learn to become a good failure.

Failing is inevitable, which is why it is important to learn from our mistakes. You’ll learn more from a single failure than a lifetime of success. Here’s what you can do when you mess up: accept what you can’t change, keep an open mind, maintain a positive attitude, and know that nothing will be perfect.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was on an engineering team at my school. I was extremely confident in our abilities as a team, so when we didn’t advance to the world finals, I was devastated. The next year, however, my team placed second at the national competition, and we advanced to the world finals. If I had allowed that initial failure to consume me, I wouldn’t have been successful the next year.

It was not easy to advance to the world finals, but because I took my previous failure as a learning opportunity, my team succeeded. I knew I couldn’t change the past, so I didn’t focus on it. I kept an open mind about the competition and did not allow my bitterness to harden me, thus maintaining a positive attitude. My team wasn’t perfect, and I knew that. But I knew if we worked hard, we would succeed. We did.

Every failure is feedback on how to improve. Nothing works unless you do, and nothing works exactly the way you want it to. Failure is life’s greatest teacher; it’s nothing to be scared of. If we are so focused on not failing, we will never succeed.

So fail, and fail often.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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7 Things English Majors Go Through

Yes, I'm an English major. No, I'm not throwing away my education.

I love being an English major.

And no -- I'm not lying.

While I do advocate for womxn in tech and the rise of STEM majors, my heart belongs to the humanities and more importantly: English Literature.

Here are some of the things as an English Major that I have experienced:

1. So... Do you wanna be a teacher?

As an English Major, my sole purpose of getting my degree is not to just become a teacher. I also want to be a writer. Get it right. I also want to be a teacher, though, so...

2. Writer's Block

Writer's block = hell unleashed. My brain is my most valued. My heart, too, but my brain is what helps me actually write my essays and poems. When my brain isn't working, I'm not working, and with those two not working -- I'm not getting anything done.

3. Having Friends Ask You To Edit Their Papers

My mood 24/7 when people ask me to edit their papers. I'm working on my own, leave me alone. Seriously though, I know I'm an English major, but there's a reason why office hours were created -- but if you REALLY need my editing/revising, pay up.

4. Reading "Whatever" Literature

There are some great works that I love reading (Frankenstein, Great Expectations, Dr. J & Mr. H, etc). But if I'm forced to read another book that EVERYONE has "read" and ends with the classic patriarchal ending -- I'd rather not. Give me some more Mary Shelley, please.

5. Reading AMAZING Literature

OK BUT WHEN THE CLASS READS SOMETHING LIKE MRS. DALLOWAY -- I AM SO HAPPY (I love you, V.W). But, honestly, I love most literature (especially classics). It's only with very few works that I'm upset with reading. (50 Shades of Grey? Blegh.)

6. Getting Trash-Talked About Your Major

OkAy, SuSaN, I get that you're happy with being in the business school, but frankly I don't care, so don't worry about me or my major. We, English majors, get trash-talked about our majors. Back in the day, our major was considered noble and great -- and now it's considered as "throwing away our education".

7. Knowing that We Chose the Right Major

In my experience in college so far, I've met very few -- actually no one who has changed their major from English Lit/CRTWRT. (Disclaimer: I'm sure there are some?) But those of us who stayed with this major know that we chose the right path for ourselves. While our friends in STEM, Business, etc. are "having fun" with their path, we get to read our favorite works, write, and appreciate the arts. So... who's the real winner? ;)

Cover Image Credit: Study Breaks

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