Life After Highschool
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Life After Highschool

A new light at the end of the tunnel

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Life After Highschool
Daya E Dodson

Walking across that stage in May was something I had waited for forever.

I couldn't wait to get out of there to move on with my life. I think what really made me anxious to leave was the depression I was dealing with during the time. I felt so stuck that I literally prayed for graduation. I remember as walking across the stage, I could feel a burden lifted off my shoulders. I was finally free.

During my sophomore to senior year of high school I was dealing with depression. It effected a lot of my choices and social involvement during that time. I remember when it first started I was exactly certain of what it was at the moment. I honestly thought it was a phase. I soon learned it was not. Everyday started to feel like a drag and it honestly made me reconsider my whole life. I started looking at the people around me and I became very weary.

I was involved in a school activity but that was the only involvement I had in school. I literally went to school, practice, and then back home. Once the season ended I just went to school and back. I remember days where I would just sleep or stare at the ceiling for hours and hours. I didn't want to do anything and I didn't want to see anyone or talk to anyone. I was just sick of everything.

Now feelings are something back then I didn't and still don't talk very much about. I normally just keep everything in. I know that isn't the best approach but I can't lie and say I'm going to change that habit because I am probably not. It is just how I've learned to cope with things. I remember my mother becoming concerned. She would always ask why I'm so tired or why I don't ever call my friends up. Personally I think she knew I was dealing with something but she just didn't know how to talk about it at the time or either thought it was a phase. I think my dad might have been the same way as well.

During that time I also went through a falling out with my "Friends" heading towards the end of my sophomore year. Now a lot of theses so called friends technically were only my friends because we had went to the previous school together and it just carried on because we already knew each other. And looking back at it honestly if it was not for that none of those people I would had ever been friends with in the first place. Acquaintances maybe, but personal friends... never. Now because loyalty has always been a big deal to me and I felt betrayed over something stupid, I completely regrouped my settings and friendships. That meant about eighty-five percent of the people I hung out with I completely cut off. Doing that and going through depression didn't make that easy.

I always felt very alone until I met a couple friends who I have mentioned in a previous article. They were just like me in a sense that we had the same goals. We both encouraged each others aspirations and ambitions. I felt that I could really be myself with them.

I wish I could say that, that helped me deal with my depression but it did not. It had gotten worse. I just learned how to hide it. Once junior year came along I had focused all my attention on my academics and made no time for a social life. I had five AP courses and the after school activity I was involved became something I was beginning to dread after school everyday. It was like I wasn't catching a break. Everything I had once loved became things I hated and I felt like I was drowning.

And one thing I will say that I believe anyone who has dealt with depression understands very well is that the day you look in the mirror and question why you are even here or if your life is worth living anymore is a scary place to be. I remember really knowing something was wrong was that I had received a poor grade on something and I remember just breaking down in the bathroom crying. The grade I received was on a major assignment and regardless to the fact the rest of my grades had excellent grades, this one assignment dropped me to a F. Now I quickly brought the grade back up but that is besides the point. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. It was one of my lowest moments. I just remember feeling as if my world came tumbling down and I had nothing to give anymore. And you may be saying this is a bit much for one grade but it wasn't about the grade. The grade was just a representation for the negative and dark feelings I was dealing with. I didn't see a life worth living anymore. I remember during that time I believe we were getting suicide counseling. So I ended up texting the hotline. I can't exactly say it helped because I felt that everything I wanted to say I couldn't say in text. I went home that day very sick. I just sat in the shower just dreaming of another life. When I went to sleep I hoped sometimes to not wake up the next morning. I felt that because no one could understand what I was feeling they wouldn't care if I was here or not anyway.

That year was a rough one I will definitely have to say. But I will say the new friends I had made a a guy I grew to really adore did make it better. He was a year older than me. He was amazing. It is unfortunate that we didn't have enough time to see where our friendship would have went because he graduated, but I appreciate the fact that he got to be involved in my life. It meant a lot, he just didn't know it. He helped me very much during that time.

Now senior I thought would have been a lot better because I was graduating. Things had seemed to lighten up. Graduating honestly was the only light at the end of the tunnel that year. My two friends and I became super close so that was a reward. However the worst of the storm was yet to come. The depression had seemed to loosen and I was feeling okay but everything in a blink of a eye came crashing down the last couple of months I had left. Peer pressure from people I had sort of labeled as friends around really flared everything back. I felt and did get betrayed by people around me and I had had enough of it.

Loyalty as I said before is a big deal to me . Any Taurus person knows that very well. Taurus are very forgiving people in a way but you have one time that we feel that you have really betrayed us and then you have opened up a can of worms you can not close back. That needless to say had happened. I became even more depressed than I was before. And there had been times I had tried to talk about because sometimes you just have to let that shit go but afterwards I regretted it.

I think the biggest problem people dealing with depression have is talking about. It is easy for people on the outside to say oh just do this or that but that is easier said than done. People may sometimes think that all of this and suicide can be prevented because they just need to talk to someone about it. I know me personally I don't like doing that. When discussing those problems I think you take the chance of that other person thinking their two cents makes a difference. Like oh what you just said I never in the slightest form thought about. Sincerely, no shit Sherlock. Me personally, I didn't want to hear advice. I just wanted someone to listen. Just sit down and listen. That's a big problem these days. It's like you hear me but you aren't listening.

I hear you but are you listening?

And there were other things that I will not discuss that really caused me next breakdown but I was honestly just feed up.

That last month of school literally because I had good grades and my teachers loved me, a majority of those final weeks I wasn't even in class. A lot of the people who I hung out with I began slowly cutting off. That was my way of bracing myself for the transition. I just hung out with my favorite teacher everyday or I stayed home. I was tired of pretending because to me there are two different ways people deal with depression:

Either you let it show meaning you just can not hide it

or

You learn to pretend

Finally here came graduation I had finally made it. I had never been so happy. My family was there and not just them but I was proud of myself as well. I was proud of myself for trooping it out. Now I was finally off to college.

After my first semester, there are a few things I have learned about life after high school.

The people you were with in high school you honestly may never see again. A lot of the people I graduated with stayed local. I am one of few who did not exactly stay local. The only people you see from then are the people you intend to keep in contact with for years to come. As I had mentioned a lot of people I had cut off. I felt that they sort of held me down and kept me stuck. I needed to grow as a person and with them around I could not do it. With the amount of freedom college gives you, you really can start over. I am very thankful for that. I am grateful that I can finally get on to what I want to accomplish in life because during high school I felt like I was very much restricted and couldn't do so.

Now I do still deal with the after effects of depression but I am in a much better place now. The things I have trouble with are social things like making friends and going out. I still feel self-cautious. I'm not one hundred percent friendly as I use to be. By that I mean I am very much a loner now. My mother questions me about it a lot and sometimes it angers me to where I may snap from time to time but I know she means well. One of my friends who went to high school with me as well but we weren't close until college checks on me a lot. She is one of the only people who knows what I was going though so she tries to invite me and encourage me to get involved in things and with people.

I guess in a nutshell i have come to learn that with life after high school comes freedom. If you want to start over you can. You have the freedom to go out and accomplish everything and anything you want. No one is there to judge you about it or stand in your way. You finally can go live your life without no regret.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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