I'm Graduating, And I Want Every College Student To Read This
Start writing a post
Graduation

I'm Graduating, And I Want Every College Student To Know My Journey

Thank you, Odyssey, my friends, my family, my job, my coworkers, and my teammates for making these four years the best years of my life.

1314
I'm Graduating, And I Want Every College Student To Know My Journey
"Sometimes I remind myself that I almost skipped the party, that I almost went to a different college, that the whim of a minute could have changed everything and everyone." — Unknown

Odyssey has been a very big part of my college career. I have been fortunate enough to get the opportunity to share my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs with the rest of the world. Some of my articles have gone viral, some have made people laugh, and some I now look back and laugh at. I reached one million views, which was my goal from the time I started writing, which honestly, I never thought would actually happen. Odyssey also gave me pain, from people cussing me out and sending me death threats to one of the most beautiful writers I've ever had on my team passing away.

I asked myself one day why I started writing. I remember. I started writing because I originally wanted to publish something that I wrote for a class. I wanted to publish it because at the time I was a little freshman in college who had just quit the sport she loved, was going through mental health issues and thought that quitting was the biggest mistake of my life. I was miserable. All of my "friends" had gone away to school. I was at a community college that had about the same level of education that my high school did. I was wishing that I just would have played and was filled with regret. I was also wishing that I just would have gone to Missouri State because I would have been happier there.

This "miserable" girl wanted to do everything in her power to stop anyone from making the same mistake that she did, so she sat down and wrote out a letter to any potential athletes that did not want to play in college.

For a while, I held onto it, then I posted it on Twitter. After getting a lot of positive feedback on it, I decided to publish it. I really did not think that I would write many more articles after that, but we all know what happened from there.

This girl that I used to be was going through hell, honestly. I knew that something had to change, but I was so scared to move away from the one person in my life that I knew had my back no matter what (Zach, you're an angel). Missouri State was where I thought that I needed to be, but then I thought about it and decided to go somewhere closer to home, so I made the decision to transfer to SIUe.

My first semester there was hard. I quit my job that I had been at for three years that I absolutely loved. I did not feel as if I had any friends and I wanted to go home. I wanted to drop my sorority because I did not want to show up alone to the events. My second semester I was about to drop, then, someone posted in our sorority Facebook page asking if anyone would like to go on a spring break trip to South Padre Island. I thought about it for a second, then decided why not. That would be a great way to become close with a group of girls.

The trip came and the first day I spent wishing that I was back home. I actually did not go out that night with the rest of the girls because I was tired and wanted to sleep. I was fearful that I was going to be the "Debbie Downer" of the trip. The next day I decided that I needed to go out, although I wanted to go home. I missed my boyfriend a lot at that point and I was not sure if I was fitting in. Day by day, things got more fun. Day by day, I grew closer to the girls who I had no idea were going to be my best friends for the rest of my college life, and probably for the rest of my life.

Another big moment in college was when I broke up with my boyfriend. Let me be clear when I say this, he treated my with the most respect at all times and is a wonderful person inside and out, but I was in a different point in my life in which it was better for the both of us to not be together. There were times where I was not sure if I had made the right decision, but that one decision taught me a lot. It taught me that being alone is completely fine. It is fun. You truly never know yourself until you are completely alone not talking to anyone. Let me be clear when I say this: completely alone. You find yourself when you feel free but you also find yourself when its 1 a.m. and you have no one to talk to. You find yourself when you are out of your comfort zone. From that one decision, I learned how to be alone and that it is perfectly okay to not want anything.

My old teammate transferred into SIUe. She texted me out of the blue and asked if I was playing club soccer. I told her no. I missed try-outs. I thought I was too rusty and that there was no way I would be good enough. I played flag football for my sorority for fun, and an older girl on the team pulled me aside and started talking to me about club soccer. I told her that I wished that I would have (even though I didn't) and that I already missed try-outs.

"It's no big deal, I've seen you play football. I will talk to the president about you and see if I can get you on the team," was her response.

Needless to say, I ended up playing for four years, going to schools all over, and finally seeing my love for the game which I had once been burnt out on coming back. My decision to not play in college started to fade because although I was not getting scholarship money, I was able to play and still live the college life.

Eventually, my "single forever" phase started to wind down once I met someone. I did not plan on getting into a relationship in college again, it just kind of happened. This started out as one of the most amazing relationships I had ever been in, but then things changed. It had been years since I had felt the pain of what mental health issues actually felt like. I would always wonder "why me?" They came back quickly and they took me down harder than they ever have before. I thought I was going to be like this forever.

We broke up, I got off antidepressants and started going to therapy. I had tried therapy before, but none of them really seemed to clique with me. I found someone who has brought me back the confidence that I had not seen in so long. I thought that I had my confidence back when I was single and loving life in college, but I never knew what confidence really was. I realized that God had put that relationship in my life so that I could re-experience these issues. It was so that it could knock me down so that I could be built up stronger than I have ever been before. Without that extreme low, I never would have gotten to where I am today. Without that horrible feeling, I never would have had to go see my amazing therapist, and I never would have learned how to properly deal with pain.

Looking back today, as I write this, I am about to graduate. Through my time at SIUe I have learned a lot. Through Odyssey, I have gained a lot of experience in writing, editing, and even marketing. I have grown so much through it. Sometimes I go back and read my old articles and laugh. Sometimes I read them and I look at how much better I have gotten. Through soccer, I made so many friends. I made so many memories. Through my relationships, I learned incredibly difficult lessons that I would go through all again to end up where I am today. I learned what to put up with and what not to put up with. I learned lessons about Greek life (I rip on Greek life a lot) but they really are not all about partying.

There are so many positive things that the media does not like to talk about. If I never would have come to Illinois and joined a sorority, I truly never would have met my future bridesmaids. I truly found the person that I was meant to be in college.

And it all started from the decision that I thought would be the biggest mistake of my life.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1028614

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

656754
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

700456
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

450538
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

274642
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

419714

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

280408

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

188746
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments