I Know You Are Tired, But Get It Together And Make Freshman-Year You Proud

Seniors, Get It Together And Make Freshman-Year You Proud Of What You've Become

Don't live in the summer, end-of-your-college-experience-is-approaching rut. Pick yourself back up and head into the new semester with a bang.

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Over the course of the past three months, I have felt the life inside me that I once treasured so deeply get torn from my body.

I've felt every ache and pain of stress with every move I have made.

Getting out of bed in the morning has become one of the very first checkmarks on my never-ending to-do list. Tied to the need to get over whatever feelings of displacement I am struggling with, I've felt the pressure of the impending semester holding me down.

This summer has left me with the feeling of exhaustion and need for escape. But with class beginning in just under two weeks, a trip across the world isn't quite in the books for me. That and my lack of funds are definitely holding me back.

I've lived in the lull of wanting more but not having the energy to work toward whatever that may be.

But during my past 48 hours of semi-relaxation, I've contemplated the depth of what Freshman-year me would have wanted from my life at this moment. Overall, I think I've pretty much hit the nail on the head as far as dreams may go. I'm on track to graduating cum laude, I've held several internships that may even lead to job opportunities post-graduation, and I've learned more about myself and my needs as a person. I think that if three years ago I saw into the future, I'd be pretty excited by what I saw.

But why do I not feel any excitement now?

It's likely because of my inhumanely-packed schedule and my internal fight with my lack of "best" friends. I've gone through a lot over the years and there are a million excuses for why I act and feel the way I do, but I've come to the realization that I need to get over myself. I need to fight this heaviness and let shit go. How else am I supposed to feel lighter?

I'm choosing to surround myself with people who make me feel empowered, who make me feel alive. Creatively-driven people who share their thoughts and crafts with others make me feel inspired. When I hear someone speak about their passions, their dreams, their hard work, I feel an electric shock to my body. I feel myself come alive again.

I surrounded myself with stagnant people for too long. And I'm not even just talking about a couple individuals here – I'm talking about a grand majority of people. As a creative and driven person, I've learned that I need to surround myself with like-minded people. At this point, it's not a want or a choice, it's a necessity.

My advice to you now, get to know what you need to make you feel alive. To climb out of any rut you may be fighting through, you must have people there to pull you out. This may look like a helping hand literally reaching down to grab yours to help lift you out, or it may just be an ankle of someone at the surface of your hole that you can just latch onto so that you pull yourself out.

Whatever your situation may look like, it's not as bad as it may seem. Put all your struggles into perspective. Take note cards and write down each issue you're fighting with and sprawl the notes across the floor in front of you. Create an action list of what needs to be done to get rid of your stresses and once you have, rip up that card. Not only are you letting it go physically but mentally as well.

Hang in there, my friend. You can do it.

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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.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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My Eating Disorder Was A Secret, Even From Me

No one ever talks about it, and if they had my life might be different.

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I remember ninth grade health class very well, specifically one day in particular. The day we talked about eating disorders, I was ready to hear about anorexia and bulimia. I was not ready to walk out of that classroom with confirmation that I had an eating disorder, but that is exactly what I did that day.

After speaking on anorexia and bulimia, my teacher told us about Binge Eating Disorder.

My 14-year-old ears perked up. I had never heard of this disease, but I was immediately interested. I knew anorexia and bulimia well, they were the diseases that, at the time, I wish I had the determination to try, but I was too scared to hurt my body.

Binge Eating Disorder was new to me. My teacher described it as continuing to eat after you were full and eating for hours at a time. As the signs and symptoms continued to be read, I realized... that the last three years of my life had been plagued by binges. There was a lot I couldn't control in my life, but eating was one thing that I always had control over. It was the one thing that always brought me comfort.

Most binges would start after I came home from a hard day at school, or maybe after I got in a fight with a family member. Maybe I felt insecure about the growing number on the scale, but I ate.

It always started with half a bag of chips, then maybe a cookie or other sweet treat, and then I would finish with something else I could find in the pantry. My mother would come home and begin making dinner.

Ashamed, I would hide the food anywhere so my family could not tell I had been eating and then I would go eat dinner.

This was a common occurrence for me, but I had no idea that my habits were wrong or should point to an eating disorder. The only thing that I knew was wrong with me, was that I was gaining weight.

For the longest time, I thought an eating disorder was something that helped you lose weight unhealthily, not gain weight. It wasn't until I sat in a health class that I realized that there was anything wrong with me.

Education is so important in overcoming eating disorders. We are making such great strides about informing people about the dangers of eating disorders and positive body image.

It is so important that we start making Binge Eating Disorder a topic that is as known as anorexia and bulimia. No one ever discusses Binge Eating Disorder, not even the dangers of it, maybe if they had my life might have been different.

Maybe I would have found out about it earlier and could have gotten help before it got out of hand.

I wish I could say that I left that health class that day and never had a binge again. The truth is I binged several times after that, and still to this day I have an episode, although they are very rare.

It would be unrealistic to tell you that I overcame my eating disorder that day because it is a journey I am still completing. Every day presents a new challenge, and sometimes I fail, but I will succeed, and succeeding is worth a few failures.

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