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Me standing faced towards the Arc in France.
Me standing faced towards the Arc in France.
Original Photo by Sreeja Kuppam
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Disclaimer: When I talk about a “flop” or slump era, I am leaning toward my mental health throughout the year. I am well aware of all the good things and privileges that I detail throughout this article, and I’m really grateful for them. This article is just my personal journey with how I have viewed my own experiences along with my mental health. 

From sprinkler splashes to fireplace ashes, I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this. I hosted parties and starved my body like I’d be saved by a perfect kiss… Everything you lose is a step you take. So make the friendship bracelets, take the moment, and taste it. You’ve got no reason to be afraid.” ~ Taylor Swift, “You’re On Your Own, Kid”

“You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.” 

Hearing that phrase for the first time in kindergarten, I absolutely hated it. It didn’t make sense to me that I had to compromise for things that I wanted, especially when they were so important to me. So, that’s what I did for the next 12 years of my life. I went after things I wanted, continuously beat myself up for taking rest if I wasn’t productive enough, and I just kept on running this imaginary marathon. But when senior year of high school came around, something in me snapped. I was so fed up with chasing after the taste of achievement-driven happiness. In fact, I was so done that I fell into a mental state of self-sabotage because I was scared. I was scared that if I ran this perfectionist race any longer, all I would be filled with was hate for everything I did. 

When freshman year of college came upon me, I knew I had all these goals I set for myself in the long run, and I respected them. But more than anything, I made a promise to myself that I would just live. I wouldn’t bombard myself with overly ambitious expectations, and I would consistently remind myself to just go along with all of life’s happy little accidents.  

So, that’s exactly what I did. I skydived and bungee jumped within 15 minutes of each other, took daily hour-long swims on the coast of France during my Maymester, got all 9 points for parallel parking on my long-awaited driver’s test (was more excited about this than actually passing), made friends with dogs while hiking up mountains, went snorkeling despite my newfound fear of fish, had Taylor Swift listening parties, roomed with my best friend this past summer (somehow we didn’t end up killing each other), and discovered that not only can I do an Elmo impression, but I can also do a Mort impression. In the spirit of karmic balance, I’ve also humbled myself by tripping and falling at the Chipotle on Guad in front of a lot of people, dropping my phone in the Mediterranean Sea, getting my first B in college, facing the realities of an eating disorder, getting rejected from a scholarship after getting very close, spending all of my birthdays studying for a major chem test, consistently getting the lowest points every Pluckers trivia night (long live team “oui oui baguette”), and much more that I will not reveal for my own sanity. Despite it all, I’m here, and that’s all there is to it.

I’m living proof that even when things hit the fan, you still have a somewhat functional fan.

Questionable metaphor, I’m well aware. But more than that, I have actively learned that life is more than the cage of stress, validation, and anxiety I chained myself to for all these years. It’s all the good things, bad things, and everything in between. Even though this well-needed revelation came with its fair share of breakdowns, restlessness, and impatience, it also taught me valuable lessons like trust and acceptance – which I will forever be grateful for. 

Let me end this by saying: I love flop eras! Because truly, what is a flop era if not a period full of reflection, much-needed questionable decisions, growth, and just a whole lot of fun? Obviously, it’s not that fun in the moment, but as I look back on everything, I am so thankful that I’ve begun to embrace all the things I do “wrong” because my imperfections make up who I am. After all, when did playing it safe by the rules ever make for a good story?

Hey y'all! I am currently a sophomore double majoring in Plan II & Informatics at the University of Texas at Austin. I am a published author of two fictional books, an avid Spotify listener with over 300 playlists, and have an eerily accurate Elmo impression! Thank you for stopping by to check out my articles. <3