College is a time of change and growth, so here’s a reminder of knowing what you deserve.
First semester of my freshman year, I felt like I was on top of the world. I felt as though my entire life was falling into place and that things were finally going to workout for me. I had friends, I was going to parties, people wanted to hang out with me, and I thought it was enough. As the semester progressed, I told myself I was still doing great. I was going out every week, always hanging out with somebody. But to be honest, I had never felt more alone.
First semester brought me so many things that looked good on my Instagram feed or Snapchat story, and I thought to myself, “This is it. This is finally my best life.” When in reality, I was using all my new found hobbies as distractions. I was under the impression that I was okay because everyone thought that I was. If I ever felt my depression or anxiety starting to set in, I would avoid it because “I’m not that person anymore.”
I tried to open up to people about some of the feelings I started having because it was becoming difficult to ignore, but at the same time I didn’t want to admit there was something wrong with me, because after years of a mental health struggle with myself, I thought I was supposed to be a new person. Fun, positive and popular, not someone who wanted to hurt themselves. So I began to talk to a few people and I was met with discouragement. I was hearing things like “I’m sure you’re fine,” “You’re just stressed about midterms, you’re fine,” or “You’ll get over it.”
I got to the point where I knew that I needed serious help, but I felt as though everyone I talked to didn’t understand the full capacity of what I was going through. I found myself in a really dark place and began questioning my self-worth. At the beginning of last semester I thought I was in a strong mental state, knowing what I deserved, but as time went on, a lot of my values seemed to escape my mind. No matter how people treated me, I didn’t mind, I stopped sticking up for myself.
Over the winter break, I found myself in a dark place, and feeling more alone than ever, always questioning what I deserved. Did I deserve to have understanding friends? Did I deserve to ever be in a good mental state, or are my mental illnesses going to keep me from what I want, like always? Do I deserve people who understand, respect and value the relationship I have with God? I didn’t know, I lost my self worth. I stopped talking to people, and everyone assumed things that weren’t true.
I came back to my second semester still in a weak mental state. I tried to go back to being the person I was, the person people wanted me to be, and I didn’t even feel like myself. I didn’t know who I was or what I was going to do. So I took a step back. I reevaluated myself, my life, and what I wanted to become. I have become to only rely on myself, with an occasional phone call to my brother or parents, because I know no matter what, they’ll always listen.
Once again, I thought I was in a great place, and started opening up again. But in one slight millisecond, I was full of doubt and confusion, as if all my past months of self-improvement meant nothing. In that confusion I felt so lost, and it was then that I realized who really cared about me and what really mattered. People reached out to be, wanting to help me, and the next morning I woke up almost enlightened on the matter of my self worth,
There are people who care about you, and respect you, your values, and your decisions. Those are the people who matter most, not the ones you want to impress or worry about disappointing. Because regardless of whatever happens, those who respect and value you will be there by your side with you every step of the way. I am constantly being reminded that my knowledge of my self worth is what keeps me strong and rooted in my values, faith, and purpose. As long as I can stand by those facts, I will continue to stand strong. God continues to test me with this idea everyday, and every day I will continue to accept the challenge and succeed.
If you’re going through a time where you feel lost, or full of questions, remember that the best thing you can do is to put yourself first and trust those who will stand by your in those choices. Do what is best for you, not for others.