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Why I Chose To Be A Better Version of Myself

For a long time, I refused to go to counseling.

Don’t yell at me folks, but I had this “I don’t need it” attitude. More or less, it turned into a “counseling will make me weak” attitude.

I always knew that wasn’t the right attitude to have, but I kept pushing it. When my family would suggest it to me, I would snap.

“What, you think there’s something wrong with me?” I would say, sharp and coarse.

I’ve always had an edge to me, but when my friends or family would suggest counseling to me, I would be set over the edge.

However, during my freshman year at California University of Pennsylvania, I had counseling suggested to me. This time, I didn’t snap when confronted about the idea. Instead, when former professor Dr. Vergaray referred me to counseling, I decided to actually take it him up on it.

So, to Carter Hall I went. Let me tell you, those four weeks of counseling were an absolute disaster. I’m not mentioning names, but my counselor did not get me at all. She wasn’t rude, whatsoever, but she just didn’t get it. Instead of sitting there and listening, she tried telling my own story for me. We were getting nowhere.

After four weeks, I thanked her for her time and then did not return.

Counseling was suggested again by Dr. Vergaray. He had accepted a new position at a new school, but we still kept in contact through emails every so often. I had just become the Editor-In-Chief of the California Times newspaper and began a job at Herald-Standard newspaper in Uniontown. With all of that on my plate, and classes, I kept using the excuse of “I don’t have the time.” However, that excuse only lasted so long.

This spring semester, I decided to return to counseling. I saw that my old counselor wasn’t on the list anymore so I picked a new one. I won’t reveal her name, due to privacy, but she has been the biggest blessing I could ask for.

She understands me, and my situation. She relates to me, and most importantly, she connects with me. She’s not just my counselor; she’s a trusted adviser and she’s my friend.

I decided, this spring, to better myself for a number of reasons: I wanted to figure things out, sort out some kinks. I’ve been bothered with a lot of issues, specifically adoption issues, for a long time now. Now, it’s nice to not bottle it up, and actually remember how to have feelings.

I wanted to better myself because my niece is due in two short months. I want her to have the best aunt she can have, and I want to enjoy our time together. I don’t want to be a burden to her; I just want to be the best for her.

This semester, I decided to better myself, and I will continue to better myself once the semester ends. Take some time, evaluate yourself and don’t feel shame when you realize counseling is right for you.

Rachael McKriger, a junior at California University of Pennsylvania, is a contributor to HerCampus. In addition, McKriger is the Editor In Chief of her college newspaper, The California Times. She also serves a sports writer and the News Editor for the paper. At Cal U, McKriger is majoring in English with a concentration in Journalism and minoring in Sociology. Outside of school, McKriger is a sports writer for Pittsburgh Sporting News, Pittsburgh Sports Castle, Real Sports Entertainment Network, and Politically Incorrect Sports Talk (all websites). She covers topics including the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers Basketball, the MLS, the U.S. Men's and Women's National Teams, the NWSL, the NBA, the NFL, and other sports related topics. You can follow her on Twitter, @TheeMcKriger, and find her articles on Facebook by searching "Rachael McKriger: NFL/Soccer." McKriger can also be found on Facebook under McKriger Photography, a photography company she started in March of 2016.
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