Wow guys. College is hard. It hit me like a brick. After 12 years of sleep-away camp and 18 years of pretty good, easy to achieve, grades, I never expected college to be the way that it is! My mental health became a struggle again for the first time in years. My grades are average, just average. And I work hard to get those average grades.
My expectations for college life were, in all honesty, unrealistic. It was sort of selfish of me to expect college to be this breeze of a ride. It was kind of stupid for me to assume that everything would be fine at college when, in reality, for the first time in my whole life, I don’t know what’s going to happen next. College is a world of unexpected adventures, and no, not all of those adventures are one’s I enjoy enduring. Some of them are great, fun, and exciting. Others are depressing, anger inducing, and unhappy. Right now, it feels like none of these adventures are good… I know that isn’t true, but that’s just how it feels right now… and it’s likely because my mental health is not where it should be, and that’s so beyond frustrating to me.
After years and years of hard work to get to the place of solid mental health that I had finally achieved, the second I got to college, I felt like I started slipping away. There are some personal things that are factors in my mental health going south, but it’s still really frustrating to watch myself struggle and still have such a hard time controlling my thoughts, and how I’m feeling. I’ve reached out to my psychologist and leaned on friends for support, but I will admit, some days I just can’t do it.
I know that everyone has times that they feel this way, and everyone needs a day off once in a while, but for some reason, I feel like I need a day off almost every other day, and that’s ridiculous. Yes, this indicates that I need help, and yes, I am getting it, so please do not worry. Life can’t always be easy, and I know that, but knowing that doesn’t make times like this any easier, it makes them feel like they’re going to last… forever.
One of my greatest fears is that this hill that I’m sliding down will never end, that I will never hit flat ground and be able to climb back up to the top. It’s scary to feel this way, and it’s hard to understand if you’ve never been in a situation like this.
So many questions have come to my mind throughout this entire experience.
Will I get through it?
How could it possibly get any worse?
Can anyone tell that I’m hurting and struggling?
If anyone can tell, do they care?
Should I tell my parents, or will that freak them out?
What can I do to fix myself?
All of these questions race through my mind every day. I know that most of these questions are unreasonable, because this experience won’t last forever, people are aware of what’s going on and they do care, my parents are on my side, and I’m not broken so I don’t need to be fixed. I don’t know why depressing periods make me feel so broken. Maybe it’s because it feels like I’m the only person who feels depressed and is struggling and it seems like everybody around me is so happy and normal. It makes it seem like something is wrong with me. And yes, in a way I guess there kind of is, but mental health is something that most people will struggle with at some point in their life, though it may not be quite as bad as what I am feeling right now. Mental health is something that people don’t need to be ashamed about, yet so many of us are, because we all strive to be “normal.” But what does “normal” even mean?
I don’t think that being “normal” exists. No two people are the same, which means that if one person is considered “normal,” nobody else in the world can be “normal.” Everyone is unique, in both good and bad ways. Everyone has a different body, a different mind, and a different life. There are standards of normality in our world, but nobody, and I mean nobody, not even the most famous person in the entire world, fits in to every standard of normality that we have. While that may seem far fetched, it is true, and it’s okay. We don’t have to all be this image of perfection, because nobody is perfect.
Honestly, if you know someone who is “perfect” please let me know because that means that you’re missing something. Being perfect isn’t possible, and the people who seem the most “perfect,” are often the people who are struggling the most inside themselves (at least that’s what I’ve learned from my experiences with thinking people are “perfect”). Trying to act “perfect” or “normal” often leads to mental health issues. Possibly even to a warped reality where you don’t even notice that you actually aren’t okay, and that’s dangerous!
College has alerted me to a lot of these “perfect” people. I have met so many wonderful people who I think are amazing, and who seem to have everything down pat, just to learn that they are struggling just as much, if not more, than I am. I’ve always known that a lot of people are secretly not okay, but being in college is probably the first time I’ve really seen it a lot. Its sort of ironic too because college is hard. Everything is changing. Everyone is changing. It’s a new start, you have to find a new group of friends, and adjust your lifestyle. So why, when we are in one of the hardest environments to adjust to, is it so important to be okay, and to be this image of “perfect?” Why does our society need us to be one way when being a different way is the way that makes more sense? I honestly don’t get it.
I walked in to college expecting a “normal” experience. Coasting through classes and groups of friends, and finding my place. After one long, hard semester, and half of another semester, I have been slapped across the face with a piece of frozen meat.
1 in 6 American women have survived an attempted or completed rape.
I NEVER expected to be 1 of those 6 women. Never.
And it has made college harder. Because that is not the only statistic I have fallen victim to. There are more, and they will keep coming.
My point here is really to just never expect things to go a certain way, because in reality, expectations are so unrealistic. Everything in our world is photoshopped and warped. Any expectations we have are based on the fake things we see and the gossip that we hear. TV shows, movies, and even books, portray things like college in such an unrealistic way. They lead us to have expectations that don’t make any sense. Expectations that are dangerous in some ways. I’m basically saying to not have expectations, because in the end your expectations will NOT be reality.
I also realize that saying to not have expectations doesn’t make sense because how do you go through life if you walk around never expecting to take another step, or not thinking about what will be around the corner. You have to have expectations. But it’s important to be careful of your expectations. Don’t expect everything to go perfectly, expect bumps and rough patches, and for a lot of things to not work out, because that’s the reality of life. Nothing is steady and easy, not for anybody. And it’s hard. But that’s okay. Because even though nothing makes sense right now, and things are rough in every aspect, it will work out. In the end, everything will be okay.
Everything happens for a reason. What all of those reasons are, we may have not yet figured out. But I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that in the end we will learn important lessons from everything that has ever happened to us. It may be a cliché saying, but it is honestly something that I live be, and it’s a huge part of why I am still here, and why I am able to push through.
Everything will be okay in the end. Everything will one day make a little bit more sense. And everything will teach us something important. No matter how small the lesson, or the event that occurred, may seem.