10 Things No One Tells You About Having To Grieve In College

10 Things No One Tells You About Having To Grieve In College

I wish someone would have shared these with me.

250
views

I still have a hard time writing about it, it's not something I necessarily want to write or think about. Actually, I want to lock it up in the corners of my subconscious and throw away the key.


October 27th 2018 Friday, the weekend before Halloween was the night my close friend overdosed and passed away.

That afternoon, I texted her and asked her to grab lunch with me while I was going to get my nails done. There was a long waiting line, and my nails took longer than expected, by the time I was done, I was tired. I texted her and asked to reschedule, and she wasn't even upset, she just told me to have a nighty night.

Then Saturday I called because we made plans, and it went straight to voicemail. That's weird. You always have your phone on you, let alone charged.

I texted you Monday, then Tuesday and the text bubble was green...I thought it was weird but didn't think too much of it, maybe you were somewhere without wifi.

Then, Tuesday night I get a text from another friend, saying, "how are you holding up?"

My heart sunk, and I knew what he was talking about, without really knowing. I grabbed my computer and logged on to Facebook and searched your name. That's when I started seeing the RIP posts all over your wall.

What a sick joke, I thought.

I call you right away...voicemail.

I sat there staring at my computer, I slowly put my hands over my face. I try to sob quietly, but I can't.


During the first week or so, I felt the worst I've ever felt. It was a combination of my first break up, and uncontrollable tiredness, multiplied by 10. I couldn't sleep, and when I did, it was only for a couple of hours. I was drinking a glass of wine to start and end my day, with some more drinking in between. Everything reminded me of her. I just wanted to go home. My eyes hurt every day for a week because I couldn't stop crying. There was a point I was so numb, I thought I was done crying, and tears kept coming.

I tried going to class, sometimes I could sit through a lecture, but at other times, I just left.

During that first week, there's no use in trying to keep it together. I've only had a couple of out-of-body experiences, and this was one of them. I felt like I was standing next to myself, watching me go through the motions. I don't really remember those two weeks.

This is what I wish someone would have told me:

1. It's going to hurt, and it's going to hurt A LOT.

I was in denial until I went to her wake. I wasn't expecting it to be an open casket, and I almost lost it. Seeing her there, still...I couldn't fathom. My mind didn't understand. That's my friend, she was only 20, we didn't even celebrate her 21st. I was so angry, and guilty. I was angry, because you left me here, and now what am I supposed to do? Fuck dude, I miss you.

2. It's going to feel like you're losing your mind a little.

For those two weeks, my mind felt clouded, it probably didn't help that I was drinking a lot. I blacked out for the first time. I remember trying to do simple tasks, like going grocery shopping, and I couldn't even do it. I would go in with my list, and not know where things were, which is weird because I've shopped at the same place for the past 3 years! Tasks that normally take 20 minutes, were taking an hour. I would try to leave my apartment, and could not find my keys for 20 minutes, just to find out they were in my hand...

I thought I was losing it. I couldn't remember what I did 5 minutes ago, and my mind would just go blank if anyone asked me anything. I think this is what a zombie feels like.

3. There's no right or wrong way to react.

Because of the type of person I am, I didn't want to talk about it. I'm the type of person that keeps everything bottled up until I explode. At this moment, I want to take a moment and thank everyone that texted/called me during this time, it meant a lot, I just wasn't in a place that I could reach out.

There's this pressure to react a certain way when you are grieving. You're supposed to look like shit. I felt like people expected me to act or say certain things, but I couldn't. You're supposed to wear all black or something... honestly, f*ck off. One professor asked me, how long I had known her for, as if it would have mattered? Would you have more apathy if I had known her for 10 years rather than 3? Since I'm not crying, I must not be in pain, right?

Just take your time, if you need to keep yourself super busy, do it. If you need to lock yourself in your room and cry it out, do that too. If you need both, then so be it.

4. Put the bottle of wine down.

I wish my friends could have actually told me to stop drinking before it was too late. I know it seems harmless at first, and it actually helped me when I couldn't sleep, but don't do it. Halloween, I was triggered, and instead of calling it a night, I took shots on my own, which followed by me getting into a fight. Full disclosure, this girl was being a total c-word, so she kind of had it coming. But that's not the moral of the story! The moral of the story is that self-medicating when you're hurting can go really south, really really fast. It doesn't make grieving any easier and only gets you in trouble, tbh. I know my friends were trying to be supportive and thought that drinking couldn't be that bad, but it was.

5. You will be triggered.

Every freaking place reminds me of you. The quad, Devil Dawgs, Starbucks, 1237, McGee's, the list is endless. I couldn't walk through school without having a flashback of every other place. I would start off strong, leaving my apartment was the first step. Then I would see the stu and think of you, and the tears would come. I couldn't help it. I'm lucky that I was able to go home to Florida soon. Had that not been the case, I think I would have had some serious issues. All the memories are going to come back like a disease, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

6. Listen to your body

Wanna workout? Run on the treadmill. Wanna eat desserts? Go to Sweet Mandy's. Wanna stalk your friend's profile? Go for it. Wanna lay in bed and stare at a wall? Play some Amy Winehouse, it helps. I wish I would have been in tune with my body. It may be hard to do so while you're going through it, but try. Don't try to do what you "think" you should be doing, instead try to listen to your body.

7. It's okay to depend on your friends 

Easier said than done. I'm usually the happy, positive person in the group, and for the first time roles reversed. I'm the one that usually has it together, but things hit the fan so quickly. I could no longer handle my anger. I was that drunk friend that you have to take care of and it was weird.

Depend on your friends to write emails for you. Let yourself be vulnerable and let them take care of you. During this time, I found which of my friends are good with this kind of thing. Greta checked up on my every other day, even though she was thousands of miles away in her study abroad. I got to see the best qualities in my group of friends and I will forever be thankful. I also got to see some friends that are actually not that good of friends, but that's life.

8. Let your professors know

A quick email is all it takes. If you want to, or can't, try to talk to the dean of students, or ask your friends to type an email for you. Most professors will be understanding, and even if you think you can power through, letting your professors know will help.

9. You're not going to feel like yourself

You are going to be numb for a while, and that's okay. You're probably going to have a great day, just to follow a night of breakdown. It's okay, let time do its thing.

10. Find your way of coping

So, one of her friend and I got into an argument. I used social media to help me with my grieving, and this girl had the freaking nerve to basically say that the way in which I was coping was wrong. If you're reading this, F U. First of all, she was my friend too, and you're a piece of dirt for questioning my friendship with her.

See, the thing is, my friend overdosed, so it brought up the question of mental illness. In our society, we like to remember the deceased as an angel. Which she was not, she was human. We got into an argument because this girl wanted me to "rephrase" one of my posts about her.


Grieving is hard, let alone in college. You're trying to keep up with your classes, while in a big drinking culture, and it can be a lot to handle. Know that everything will be okay, even if it doesn't seem like it. Take it day by day, and if you need help, each school offers different kinds of help, whether that's a counselor or a referral to talk to someone outside of school.

Popular Right Now

30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
50816
views

Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

It's OK To Let Go, Move On, And Float Away From People Around You

Life is too short to be around people who don't bring you up. The sky is the limit and the more clouds that help you float, the higher you will soar.

487
views

I'll be the first to admit that I am really bad at letting negative energy go. I try way too hard to please everyone and become too emotionally invested in my relationships with others. This is both a blessing and a curse because I expect to be treated how I treat others and it's not always the case. Never be afraid to move on, even though I certainly was.

I could never envision removing people from my life.

It sounded so harsh to not keep in constant communication with everyone I crossed paths with. I felt like I owed it to everyone ever apart of any memory with me to go above and beyond to keep them in my life. Yes, I know some fade away slowly no matter how hard you try to hang on. But, I learned that sometimes you really need to focus on YOU. I used to think that was selfish, but it's self-health. It's feeling empowered rather than put down. In reality, you can't please everyone.

I've tried for so long to be a people pleaser and still find myself falling victim trying to please everyone.

Just know that it's OK to grow apart. It's OK to be around other people. It's OK to let go of relationships that don't feel right anymore. As I have gotten older, more people have entered my life. It's been really hard to please every single person and it's because I realize that it's just not possible.

This world is so filled with so many good people waiting to meet you, befriend you, guide you, support you, and most importantly act as a floating cloud to soar to great heights with you.

If you continue to please the people in your life that don't bring you joy, that don't support you and that don't soar to great heights with you, then find the ones that will.

Trust me they are out there! The more time you spend on people who don't care and the more effort you waste in relationships that don't make you better, the worse you will feel about yourself. Don't ever criticize or second guess who you are. And come on, what a miserable life to live if you're always pleasing everyone except you.

Take a step back and look closely a those you surround yourself with. I'm not saying everyone's perfect. We all have our flukes, but find those that don't make your insecurities stronger. Find the ones that make your insecurities weaker, and as if they don't matter at all.

Your life is nothing but one big grand journey that will constantly change with people passing by.

Let some clouds float away in their directions because the best thing you can do for yourself is flying high. The time is now to learn to love who you are and not who people see you as. Not everyone's going to like you and people's opinions of you will constantly change. That's OK. The best version of yourself is the person that you see in the mirror, not the person others define you as. You'll know when people know you for who you are and if you're lucky, you'll find those that know you better than you know yourself. So don't be afraid to let go.

We only get one life Y'all! Make it count with people that put a spark in everything you do. We aren't here to please everyone, we're here to live happy lives!

Related Content

Facebook Comments