When Catastrophe Creates Character
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

When Catastrophe Creates Character

How using my head went horribly wrong and perfectly right.

When Catastrophe Creates Character
Photo by Jonathan Freeberg

A soccer match in October of 2017 ended up throwing a good chunk of my junior year into a monumental whirlwind of insanity. And it all started with using my head.

An hour after a punt from the opposing goal tender struck my head, I was lying in a hospital gurney with an IV pumping fluids into my arm. I don't remember how it got there, or why I happened to develop a stutter when I talked. It made me feel angry, like my own body was rejecting me. Why was a girl in four AP courses suddenly stuttering? A doctor soon walked up to my bedside and informed me that I had suffered a concussion during my soccer match and that the symptoms should go away within the next week. His information made me remember at the time a past concussion I suffered about a year ago. The throbbing head pain immediately rushed into my mind, but other than that I assumed that the injury would only result in a week of missed school and popping a few pain pills.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

The following week after the injury, I was able to return to school. The embarrassing stutter the doctor promised would go away followed me to class. The reaction from my peers is what I remember the most about the experience. Fellow AP scholars swimming alongside me through the halls, the cafeteria, gazed upon me as if I didn't belong in an AP classroom anymore.

It humiliated me.

A third trip to the neurologist diagnosed me with Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS), a sign that the symptoms of the concussion could potentially be with me for my whole life. The next few months following this diagnosis seemed to be a test to see how long I could last until I reached my breaking point. My mind was beginning to shed its motivation it once showed off as an achievement. The lack of concentration knitted into my AP courses. The depression, the random panic attacks and anxiety, it all forced me to withdraw from my soccer team for good. The situation really ultimately hit me when the neurologist said that going back to my dearly beloved sport would bring huge risks to my brain. Risks that could potentially give me permanent, unmanageable symptoms. It was unbearable to realize that the one thing that I thought defined me was suddenly pulled out from under my feet like some twisted, sickening magic trick.

But a conversation with my mother flipped my fate like a switch.

She told me to consider my syndrome as a challenge. She told me that if I didn't fight back with my determined mindset that it was going to win control over me completely. She told me that if there was any chance of me going to college, I had to fight these symptoms with positivity.

For the next four months I played this game with my hefty PCS competitor. Throughout this period, my determination and willingness to succeed in everything I intended to accomplish unleashed itself in all of my tests and assignments. The condition seemed to strengthen my hard-working attitude. Sure, there were days when my character was still being tested, but I have learned through months of experience how to fight back with my passion for learning and my keen sense of honorability.

By climbing a mountain as big as Post-Concussion Syndrome, I have not only become a better human being in the long run, but I have learned that flourishing in my scholarly character is the ultimate strategy when facing a challenge.

Truth be told, your noggin is your greatest asset. Use it wisely, and you'll go far.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments