I Was Hit By A Drunk Driver

I Was Hit By A Drunk Driver

You never think it will happen to you; then it does.
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We say it all the time: "Hit me. Do it. Pay my tuition."

But we don't really mean it. We know we do it. We're late to class, to work, to a meeting. We cut it close, crossing too quickly, causing cars to slam on their breaks because we are the pedestrian and we have the right of way. But what happens if the cars don't stop? What if you aren't seen? Or what if the driver is drunk? They're all 'what if's' right? But WHAT IF they're not?

February 11th, 2017, I was in my dorm room getting all dolled up for my roommate's boyfriend's Valentine's Day party. I spent a good hour getting ready, as most of us do in anticipation for a night out. As my boyfriend and I got into the Uber I looked at my S.O. and said, "There's a full moon out tonight. We shouldn't go out." And like many of you reading this now, he thought I was ridiculous and reassured me we would be fine.

It was a fairly small get together. Just a few friends with Valentine's Day-themed cocktails, but being the introvert that I am, I was spent about an hour in. We decided to walk back to the dorm so that we could grab food on our way back. As we were waiting on the sidewalk to cross a two-lane, one-way street, I felt a powerful punch, like a sumo wrestler decided to play tackle football. For a split second, I saw my legs in the air and I was on the ground.

I heard screaming, panic, chaos. The driver had attempted to make a turn and didn't turn enough; she hit my boyfriend and me on the sidewalk. She got out to see if I was ok. Once she saw we were conscious, she begged us not to call 911. We stated we had to; she got back into her car to flee and hit two more cars in her getaway process. This is when we realized she had to have been drunk. My boyfriend got off with a few bumps and bruises. I have a few more extensive injuries, but all in all, we were lucky.

Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 29% of the total vehicle traffic fatalities in 2015. An estimated 10,265 people who were killed in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with an illegal BAC (.08 or greater). Among the people killed in these drunk driving crashes, 67% (6,865) were in crashes in which at least one driver in the crash had a BAC of .15 or higher (the driver mentioned had a BAC of 0.185).

That incident negatively impacted motor vehicle owners, pedestrians, and most of all, the driver. No, she was not injured. But she was twice over the legal limit at only 11:30 p.m. It makes me worried how she got that way. If she was peer pressured, or in a contest, or just completely unaware of her limits. And where were her friends? Did they not stop her from driving, or was she alone? This will follow her forever, into grad school, future jobs, and future legal matters. I will heal. But will she?

Drinking is such a part of the college culture. There's no changing that, but the number of students on the road impaired needs to. If you want to drink yourself into a stupor after a week of exams, that's on you. When you then decide to drive, you are deciding to operate a deathly weapon while your senses are compromised. When you decide not to intervene when your friend is not in a driving state, you are allowing your friend to walk headfirst into a battlefield. That accident effected everyone who she came in contact with that night; her friends, the partygoers, and the victims. To answer my own question, everyone is effected by drunk driving. And it's your choice; to be positively influential, or negatively impacted.

Cover Image Credit: socialworkerhelp.com

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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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Meditation Is Not A Perfect Practice, But It's Still Worth Your Time

You'll thank me later.

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nczupek
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I began doing yoga a few years ago, and I instantly loved it. The combination of stretching, mental relaxation, and emotional release is amazing. It creates a sense of zen and peace in my life that I can use during the stress that comes from school, work, and everyday life. But the one part of yoga that I am not in love with is the meditation aspect.

I absolutely dread meditation. I do not know what it is, but I can never quite seem to get my mind to quiet down. No matter how hard I try, there is always a million thoughts running through my brain. "Did I finish that homework assignment?" "Am I breathing too loud? Can other people hear me?" I become so focused on other things happening around me that I just can't seem to calm down and relax.

But meditation is not about just clearing your mind and going completely blank. It is about focusing on a single thought, object, or intention and just allowing those emotions and feelings to overcome you. Focusing on one intention in your life allows you to become focused and re-centered. Meditation is not a set in stone practice, it is adaptable based on each person's needs.

There are seven general types of meditation: loving-kindness meditation, body scanning meditation, mindfulness meditation, breath awareness meditation, kundalini yoga, Zen meditation, and transcendentalism meditation. Each of these general types can be adapted to fit ones specific needs in that time. All seven of these meditations offer stress release options to help with daily stressors and inconveniences.

There is no perfect way to meditate. Meditation can also be as simple as just closing your eyes and simply breathing for a few seconds while focusing on one important thing in your life to help you remain grounded. There is no one set meditation type that works for all people. Some people enjoy all of the forms or even several of them, while others such as myself strictly enjoy the body scanning meditation.

The body scanning meditation focuses on scanning the body for areas of tension and to encourage the release of tension in that part of the body. Once the release occurs, the whole body can begin to relax even more. It usually starts by focusing on the toes and relaxing then moving up the legs, the torso the arms to the fingertips, and all the way through to the tip of the head.

My ideal meditation type is not for everyone. Playing around with the different types of meditations is the best way to find an ideal type of meditation that fits what the body needs. Unlike with most things, practice doesn't make perfect. Practicing the art of meditation just helps to refine the overall calm and zen that is felt.

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