For the longest time, I would beat myself up because I wasn’t this or I wasn’t that. I didn’t feel smart, I didn’t feel beautiful and I didn’t feel like people liked me that much. I was trying to live for the moment and not worry about the past, but I was so caught up in all the partying and living for the weekend. I was almost making myself "have fun" when I just needed to relax and take time for myself. I got into a routine of not taking care of myself the way I deserved and needed. I didn’t demand people to treat me right — I had taken so many steps back and I felt like the high school girl that never stood up for herself.

College is weird like this. It is so relatable when people talk about how they struggle with transitioning or adjusting. Every college kid knows what I mean when I refer to “the struggle” and boy, is it real. I kept going back and forth with my confidence and happiness. I’m normally like that to an extent because I get sad over things easily, but I’m happy about simple things as well. This back and forth was a whole new level of constantly beating myself up. It wasn’t like I sitting around waiting for someone to dig me out of the mess, but I wasn't really helping my confidence by constantly beating myself up over everything. I'd tell myself I needed to be happy or I needed to try harder and none of it was ever enough. You really are your worst critic in this sense.

I put so much pressure and stress on myself that I couldn’t get any schoolwork done because I felt so much anxiety about accomplishing simple tasks. I made myself feel like I had to be happy and okay right then and there. I never let myself be a mess or take the time I needed to deal with all my emotions.

My first year of college is almost over, I’m going to be 19 soon and I’ve realized many things about myself. I need to let myself not be okay, I need to have breakdowns, I need to cry, I need to ask for help and I need to let people be there for me — and this is all okay. I can only be who I am right now. Living and growing up is all about learning to deal with life as it comes. There’s never going to be a time when everything is completely perfect. Life is going to be sh*t sometimes and it’s okay to not be okay. I’m so happy and thankful for everything and everyone in my life. I wouldn't change a single thing about this year because we really can only be who we are at the moment. I am Lindsey freaking Ocock and that alone is enough.