A 1-mile run in your undies. Big party before and after. All for charity! You in?
Fact: College is tough. Not necessarily difficult in the educational sense of the word – that depends on what courses you sign up for, of course – but difficult in the way that growing up and figuring out the world is not easy. College tends to be a time when you have a million things going on, and a million more are thrown at you at the same time. Not only are you expected to handle yourself and keep up with it all, you’re also expected to have a social life, keep up with family, participate in extra-curriculars, and all the while, be readying yourself for the future.
Fact: The above statement is a very stressful, nerve-wracking thing to accomplish. It’s also a possibility that you may not accomplish it.
I’m sitting here, less than two months away from graduating, and I’m reflecting on everything that has occurred over the last five and a half years. While my focus has been mainly on this year and everything I’ve overcome and accomplished in the last 12 months, it’s really incredible that I am only 8 days of class away from my last final exams I’ll ever have to take. While I’m at that point where I’m just ready for classes to be over, I’m actually nervous about being done. The idea that I’m graduating is honestly weird. I mean, I’ve been going to school for 18 years now; what else is there? What’s hitting me the most right now though, is the need to let myself come to the realization that I’m already there. A close friend of mine had said to me recently, “Megan, why are you nervous about graduating? You’ve already done it. If you don’t feel graduated right now, well, then you’re going to feel the same when that day does arrive”. You’ve already done it. Right this second, it does not matter where I’m living, what job I have, or if I have any part of my life together. I’ll make it because I already have. The rest will follow.
Graduating college means a lot of exciting new things. It’s a brand new fresh start, complete with new friends, places, and responsibilities. Don’t be afraid of getting “stuck”. Keeping with this mindset, the following note is a reminder to future me, to look back on during those times when shit hits the fan. Or to anyone else experiencing the same pain. Because it absolutely will occur. Thinking about it in the most positive way, something will go wrong, and I’ll feel beaten and broken and worn down again, like earlier this year. While this year, I relied on a lot of my close friends and family to pick me back up, this next time, I’ll be able to help myself back on my feet. That being said, here’s a letter, to future me and anyone else who needs to hear this:
Remember May 2016? It was not good. Rather than getting engaged, which is the image you had in your head for some reason, you got dumped. And you had to move out of your apartment. And leave your adorable kitten. That’s how you began your summer, by moving back into mom and dad’s house. It was totally necessary, but not the biggest confidence boost at the time, that’s for sure. They told you time and time again, “It’ll get easier Megan,” but for the longest time, you didn’t, and couldn’t believe them.
It had come to the point where it felt as if you had stepped out of your own body and became someone else, someone who couldn’t pick herself up off the ground. You had never come across a feeling like this before, a pain so heavy that the hurt resonated throughout your whole body. It was a time where you had lost complete hope in yourself and your future, a time where you shut yourself off from the ones close to you. It’s a scary thing to look in the mirror and not recognize yourself.
Between some meds and the comfort of the people who meant the most, you made it through your shifts at work and through the process of moving out. While being used to masking your emotions in front of your employees, it became nearly impossible while going through all this. Future me, I know it’s hard to keep this in mind, but you are not alone.
While it’s possible you may say thank you to summer 2016, for saving you, for taking you out to the cool bars and to concerts and on trips, it wasn’t that. Summer wasn’t what saved you. Besides those close friends and family members who pushed you, ultimately, you did it. You chose to heal, because you’re in control. Because of you, you stuck it out and turned this summer into the most unforgettable one yet.
All because you made a change.
You changed your major. You got multiple new jobs. You got your nails and hair done. You took vacations. You chose your friends. You chose your happiness, and ultimately, you chose yourself. Everything kind of stopped spinning and turned around. As cliché as it is, it really was the beginning of something new. No matter how close you may get with someone, you are your own, beautiful person and you can survive on your own. You are not dependent.
The person you are today was not created easily. You are the sum of all of your experiences. The tears, anxiety, and uncertainty you had then helped you to become stronger, and become the person you are today, right now. Every day of your life – though all may not be meaningful – help to create the you of the present. You may never forget this break-up, but it helped you. You’ve gotten over it, which is a feat in itself considering the state you were in at that point. This may have been the hardest thing you’ve ever gone through, yet you made it. You honestly made the best of it. You may even have worse things come in the future; you will make it, and you will heal. The world doesn’t stop spinning for you to catch up, and you’ve proven that you don’t need it to. You’ve shown that you can hold on tight and gain balance back once again.
Remember these days. Remember them when it gets hard, or when you’re ready to give up. Think of all you’re capable of. During the really tough days, you ended up spending a lot of time online reading personal narratives on Thought Catalog about other and their break-ups. You found this little gem that really helped to put things in perspective. The author of this particular piece wrote, “…you define yourself. You define how you treat others, how you treat yourself, and how you react to your situations. Please don’t feel powerless, because you have so much control, even when things are spinning away from you.” If you get anything out of this letter, I hope this is it.