6 Things You Notice When You're Injured In College

6 Things You Notice When You're Injured In College

Yes, I am wearing two different shoes, but I also have to shower in a rain boot.

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This past week, 10 minutes before a class, a stair must've moved because I went from upright eating an apple and skipping through my Spotify playlist to being on the ground, my apple rolling away and my ankle burning in pain. Writing this, I hope not to sound like Michael Scott when he burned his foot on the George Foreman grill, where suddenly he had a wrapped foot and demanded sympathy. But the change in my regular routine has allowed me to see my university and other people in a different light.

1. Navigating campus takes a lot of effort

My dorm is relatively close to most of my classes. As it got later in the semester, it almost became a game for me to see how soon before I could leave before class and still get there on time and in my favorite seat. But on crutches, going anywhere is an investment in time and energy and makes me realize that even with handicap entrances on every building, there are still obstacles to accessibility such as hard-to-find entrances and sparse elevators.

2. So. Much. Walking. 

You shouldn't feel bad about not making it to the rec center because injured or not, living on a college campus is a workout. In a typical day, I have walked about 15,000 steps; that's about seven miles. The past few days I have been relying on the bus and friends to drive me, minimizing my step count, but still, my arms feel like noodles at the end of the day. College students cover a lot of ground, and it is easy to see how this would be a disadvantage for someone who has a real disability or handicap.

3. You can't hit the buffet every day.

The dining hall experience that for the past few months has brightened my day with its unlimited supply of fruit and chocolate chip cookies has become an inconvenience. If I want to eat in a dining hall, I have to ask someone to carry my food, making me avoid them for fear of being a burden. There may be alternatives in place for students with a disability, but it is still a part of the college experience that can seem exclusive.

4. Adulting is daunting.

Suddenly not being able to do things on your own makes you realize all the independence of college. Not only are you able to go wherever you want whenever you want, but there is also a significant amount of "adulting" that we should all give ourselves credit for. Doing laundry, cleaning your dishes and keeping your room livable are all minor things that take effort. Using the communal bathrooms can be a humbling fight for hygiene that requires some creativity... I am not supposed to wear slip-on shoes, so I settled on wearing a single rain boot.

5. It's not strange to ask a favor of strangers.

If you're on crutches, your carrying capacity of anything is limited. But even in you are physically fine, there is nothing wrong with getting help from the people around you. Imagine that someone asked a small favor of you, like holding their coffee for a second or explaining the bus system. It doesn't inhibit you, and you would likely be happy to do it. The same goes for most people.

6. People are good.

Overall, from the moment my ankle betrayed me to a week later and getting better, I have noticed that I am surrounded by so many good people, like the faculty member who got me an ice pack, the guy I had never met that helped me up the stairs of the physics building and my friends that have brought me food.

I would not recommend falling in a student's center to anyone, and please don't fracture or break any part of yourself while you do it. Instead, just take my word for it that college is hard, and we all deserve more credit than we give ourselves. Accessibility and looking out for others is important. People are good, and it's not bad to get help, no matter the state of your extremities.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Why You Should And Shouldn't Pursue A Science Degree

From personal experience, here are some actual reasons, in my opinion, why a science degree is a really bad, yet really good idea.

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Since I was in maybe 6th or 7th grade, I've always dreamed of being a doctor. Don't ask me why, but for some reason, I just up and decided I wanted to pursue one of the hardest possible careers that exist. Anatomy, science, and math have always been interests of mine, but not necessarily strong-suits. These areas, for me, always take extra work and studying to excel on exams and homework versus English and history. Regardless, I ignored this. Why? I am dumb. I didn't pay attention to what my personal strengths are, but rather what my interests alone were. I guess what I am trying to say here is, through personal experience, I've learned that it's important to pay attention to what your personal talents and interests are and to find a good middle ground. This can apply to any degree, not just a science degree.

Interest in science has increased over time. As technology and medicine have advanced, people have recognized that there is a need for more people in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field. There are more jobs available for people who pursue STEM degrees, and those jobs generally offer more money. According to Business Insider, non-STEM majors earn an average of $15,500 less per year starting salary than STEM majors. This is enticing to many but can be misleading. Science degrees are very difficult to earn, which is why they offer such high-earning salaries and give so many job opportunities after college.

If you are actually good at math and science and know the first 100 numbers of pi off the top of your head, by all means, feel free to become a neurosurgeon or aerospace engineer, but I had to learn my lesson the hard way. Just know that nobody's opinion matters but your own and this is your life. The decisions you make during these four years will affect your career for the rest of your life. Don't pursue a degree just because it will make you a lot of money. Pursue a career because you are good at it and you actually enjoy it.

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