If You Feel Defeated And Alone, Keep Going

If You Feel Defeated And Alone, Keep Going

Something better is always just around the corner, so push on!
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Freshman year starts, and I leave all my childhood friends to move to Morgantown, WV and attend West Virginia University. Band camp goes off without a hitch and classes begin. I meet my suitemates and my roommate, and we all get along wonderfully.

I perform with The Pride of West Virginia Marching Band, loving every tiring minute of it.

When everyone else goes out on the weekends to party, my roommate and I go on long adventures around town or stay in, make crafts, laugh, and watch movies. I don't have a ton of friends like everyone else and I'm homesick, but classes are going well and I'm starting to adjust to college life. Spring semester continues on in a similar fashion.

Then sophomore year begins. I move into a campus apartment with one of my suitemates from the previous year, and for about a month everything seems OK until everything starts to spiral out of control.

My roommate and I get in a fight and discover that we're not compatible roommates at all, so I request to move out. I meet with a new roommate who has a cat (yay!) and things seem like they'll work out.

I move all of my stuff with five duffle bags, all by myself, for three hours before finally giving in and asking my neighbors for help in exchange for pizza. As I start looking for my bed so that I can sleep, I glance over at the clock and see that it's 12:30 a.m. I have my first major test in my hardest class just hours away, and I haven't studied at all. Exhausted and stressed, I go to sleep on a mattress with no sheets in a room that looks like pure chaos.

The next day, I groggily take my test and sit with my new roomie for a while to chat. We get along well, but all day, I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that this won't be my new home.

A few weeks go by and my gut feeling proves right. My new roommate and I aren't good living companions either, and I call my mom crying almost every day. So I request a new room for the second time and meet with another potential roommate. Thankfully, this time, I am confident that things will work out.

I move all of my stuff again — with the help of some friends this time and a laundry cart that was available. Bless! I completely reorganize my new room and get situated.

During this period of high stress, I am sick constantly, and as I reach out to old friends, I hear nothing back. If I do hear from someone, it's them telling me that they're busy right now and maybe we can hang out another time. I am so incredibly lonely. I talk to maybe one person every day. I long for weekends to go home and see my family.

I join a group called The Martin Hall Agency, and I meet some awesome people who are now some of my best friends. These girls are people I know will always have my back, and I'm honored to have theirs. I also find out just how much I love my major in the process. This is one of the only things that gets me to Christmas break.

Realizing that I didn't want to live in this apartment building anymore and feeling terrified of random roommate matching after my initial experience, I post a desperate plea for PG-rated roommates that like Netflix and cats. I talk to a few potential roommates, but most of them stop replying after a few days. Finally, I get a message from a wonderful girl named Savannah.

We got along great right from the start, and I'm so happy to have met her. There is no one sweeter on the planet.

She mentions an all-girls fraternity that she's a part of and tells me I should really check it out. I tell her about my stressful experience with greek life my first year, and she assures me that this is different, so I tell her I'll think about it.

She also tells me about a writing platform called Odyssey at WVU that allows college students like myself to share their stories with the world. I apply shortly after and am welcomed by a supportive and loving community of people. I'm so happy to have met them.

We leave for Christmas break, sign our leases, and spring semester begins.

Classes are going well, but one day I notice that my chest feels kind of funny. I go see "The Greatest Showman" with some new friends anyway. The next day, I wake up so sick that I can barely walk around my apartment. I get a friend to take me to the doctor, find out I have the flu, get stuck at the doctor's office because of a massive snowstorm, and then am rescued by a twirling friend as my fever spikes again.

I am down for about two weeks, and just as I start to feel better, I get added to a group on Facebook for Sigma Alpha Iota's Spring recruitment. I am still weary, but I decide to give it a go.

I meet with some of the sisters and I talk to them about all of my concerns. Everyone I meet is so kind to me, and even though I am extremely nervous, I can't stop smiling most of the night. I attend my first karaoke night at Applebee's with all the sisters, and I'm sold. Ironically, I meet a wonderful girl there — who is now my big — and we become fast friends. I am so thankful for her and everything she does for me.

So now that you've read my story from my sophomore year of college, you may be asking, "Why is this relevant to me?" I wanted to share this story because there were a lot of times this semester that I wanted to give up. I considered online schooling to be closer to my family because I had no friends. I struggled to study for tests and assignments. I felt like crap all the time because the stress was wrecking havoc on my physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I felt like I was just merely surviving and that nothing would get better.

Except, as you can see, IT DID. It got better than it ever was before. Had I not pushed on through all of that stress and hardship, I wouldn't have met two of the best friends I've ever had, and I would never have had to opportunity to connect with even more people that support me and care about me.

After all that time, I convinced myself that even though everyone says you find your best friends for life in college, that just wasn't the case for me. I spent hours wondering why I wasn't a good enough person or a fun enough person for people to like me, but after this year, I've realized that I just hadn't found my people yet. I am so happy to say that I have now, and I can't wait to see what the future holds.

To anyone out there that's going through a rough day, week, or even year, remember to seek the help you need and to never give in. Better days are always just around the corner.

And being there to see those better days will be even better.


Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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