Hey ya’ll (what the heck, since when do I say ya’ll? Don’t worry I’ll get to that in a sec). I am back and more refreshed than ever. I cannot tell you how good it feels to be back on here typing away. Thank you all for being so understanding and supportive during these past few weeks, I appreciate each and every one of you.
So, I’ve just finished my freshman year of college and I wanted to share what the year has taught me. I did something similar in the winter when I completed my first semester, (My First Semester of College Taught Me) you should check it out.
My freshman year of college taught me darkness. For the past few years depression has been an ongoing battle and when I went to college I sort of expected it to just disappear. I was wrong and actually the opposite happened. I got worse. I let my mental illness control me. I still managed to get great grades (praise Jesus) & that’s because grades were the only thing I put effort into. I got worse as the year went on, and I think it’s because I was able to be alone so much. At home, my family is always around and I’m never usually left alone for hours or days at a time. I retreated into myself at school. I didn’t try to make any friends, I had Julia of course, but she was it. I never branched out, I stayed in. Usually, when I’m in the right head space this is great because as an introvert, I need the alone time to recharge. But there is a such thing as too much alone time. Here’s an example: Julia left for one weekend and I didn’t interact with another human being for a full 48 hours. I didn’t leave my dorm building. I left my room to shower and to use the restroom, I ate all of my meals in isolation basically. This was not healthy for me and put me into a huge funk. So, please ya’ll (I know, again really, I’m getting there, I promise,) m a k e f r i e n d s. Plural, more than one friend.
My freshman year of college did bring me friends. In fact, I’m living with five of them next year. I made friends towards the end of the year. Like in the last two months basically. They’re all from West Virginia, here’s the light bulb moment of why I started saying “ya’ll”. Your friends’ dialect will rub off on you, it’s inevitable.
My freshman year of college helped me out of darkness. As I’ve spent the last few weeks reflecting on the year I realized something: my mental illness took almost all of my freshman year. For more than half of the time I was at school, I was suffering. I looked back on all the times I had turned someone down trying to strike up a conversation in class, or hang out, or just smile at me. I rejected everyone and then bitched about being alone. I didn’t really express these emotions that often, but I wanted people to hangout with me. I wanted friends. I was sick of being alone. Reading quit bringing me joy, writing felt like a job, my life felt heavy. I needed friends, but everyone was sick of me saying no. They all assumed my answer, and can I blame them really? But once I stared reaching out, they stuck their hands out to help. I am blessed for that. I socialized and made memories. I am sick of being sad. I don’t want to wake up sad. I don’t want this dark cloud hanging over my head. I am fighting back. I am getting those days, weeks, and months back that depression stole from me. This summer it is my goal to not be sad. Life is too short as it is, and I’ve been wasting away my days letting depression control me. Do I think this will be easy? No, in fact this may be one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. But I am trying and for me that is enough.
My freshman year of college taught me that my sister, Allison, is my person.
My freshman year of college taught me that I do actually enjoy working out. I love yoga. I love the serenity and meditation it brings me. I love that I treat my body like a temple and use yoga to quiet my mind and talk to God. Meditation calms me and allows me to debrief the day and reflect on my blessings.
My freshman year of college taught me to let go. Let go of labels, let go of fears, let go of my hair, let go of who I thought I was. Seriously, don’t underestimate the power of cutting and dying your hair. Expressing myself through my hair color is one of my favorite forms of self-expression. I put myself into a box and dying my hair slowly helped me break out of that box. Also labels, what are those and why the heck are we still using them?
My freshman year of college taught me tolerance. Another persons sexual preference has no effect on me, so why do I care who they are with. As a Christian, I am told to love everyone. Not just white straight people. Everyone. It’s not my job to judge them and we all have our own crosses to bare with Christ. Hate the sin, love the person. It is that simple. Don’t make it anymore complicated.
My freshman year of college taught me to love me. I love who I am, mess and all.
My freshman year of college taught me that I am intelligent.
My freshman year of college taught me how to dream. I have aspirations, goals, dreams, whatever you want to call it. I am going places.
My freshman year of college taught me that I do need people and that is not something I should be ashamed of. God designed us for relationships and we thrive with others.
My freshman year of college taught me how to push my body in incredible ways. It’s so easy to have the mentally that you really can’t do something simply because you’ve never attempted it before. If you would have asked me a year ago If I could do a headstand, I would’ve laughed in your face. But I can do it. The feeling of surprising yourself physically is one of a kind and it’s such a high. I love finding out that my body is strong and can support me. Try pushing yourself.
My freshman year of college taught me that it is okay to miss your bedtime to make memories instead.
My freshman year of college taught me worth.
My freshman year of college taught me eyebrows. Don’t laugh, eyebrows are very serious, okay. I feel as if this is a never ending journey. My eyebrows went through hell to be honest and I’ve been thinking about doing another post because they’ve changed so much since the last post. But, I loved my brows then and that’s all that matters. I thought they looked great and that was cool. But, I’m not going to lie I wish future me could have done me a solid and helped a sista out. Basically moral of the story, love what ever you do to your face.
My freshman year of college taught me that I can have friends and still be a private person. Every friendship does not have to be a spill your guts, give me your deepest darkest secret friendship.
My freshman year of college taught me how to adult, kinda. I mean I made a resume, so I’m part way there, right?
My freshman year of college taught me independence, self-expression, self-efficacy, self-love (how many hyphenated “self” words can I throw in here, jk jk), darkness, the beauty of lightness, friendship, love, and tolerance. I can say that I am completely different person now than I was on September 1st.