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 Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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