This summer was my first summer home from my first year of college which was pretty rough. My first semester of college included me living under the shadow of an emotionally-abusive boyfriend and losing my dad and the second semester of college was me trying to get out of that shadow and being able to cope with the passing of my dad. I did not think I would even make it to the summer in one piece because of how much heartbreak and betrayal I went through. I thought college was supposed to be where you found yourself and live the best years of your life.
I was completely wrong about that, and I knew that was why this summer, I had to use it to find myself once and for all.
It was hard because I did not know what I wanted. All through my first year of college, I had friends and family in my ear telling me what I should and should not do. They controlled my actions towards things and even though I initially thought that that was the best for me, deep down I knew that that was not the person I wanted to be.
The first thing I did this summer was get a job. I had jobs back in school, but I wanted to try something new and more serious. I got a job and learned leadership skills and how to be on my own. I refused to let myself call out for friends or for 'being sick' and become much more independent by landing a serious employment opportunity. I was not about to throw it out for other people because I knew to have something to do was what was best for me.
I then kept away from a lot of my first-year college friends. I would get calls every other day asking if I wanted to go out on late nights, but I declined them all. The first reason for declining them was because of the fact that I did have work in the morning and going out at midnight was not good when you have work at eight. The second reason was that I did not want to be part of that crowd. People used this summer to drink, do drugs, and party, and I knew that hanging out at midnight meant doing just that when there is nothing else to do in my town, but drugs and alcohol. I did not want any distractions from what mattered and I wanted my mind to be free of anything that can alter it so I stayed away. I did not want to be peer pressured and come back under my friends' control so I kept declining until the invites were no more.
Throughout the summer, I ended up making new friends who would let me sit and talk to them about anything and everything and rant to them when I needed to. I am a person who likes to vent and because I had no one to listen to me before, it was all bubbling up inside me. These new friends listened until the end and gave me the best advice. They never told me to do something, they advised me and that was a complete change. I was starting to be able to make decisions for myself.
The last thing I did this summer was completely getting rid of anything that was not me. This includes clothes, values I adopted from other people, and goals. Some things I did not want to do but other people wanted me to do. I had become a puppet in people's games and all I wanted to do was fit in. However, I realized that you did not have to fit into people's mold and there are other people out there that value the same things you do without you having to change what you believe in and what you strive for. I started researching and finding out about organizations that fit my aspirations and I was blessed to be chosen to be a part of all of them.
This summer began to be filled with negativity but now it is all positive as I start my second year in college. I had to cut off everything bad and find my purpose without the control of others and now I am truly happy with myself and all the blessing I have this upcoming year.