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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

A year ago, I would be able to look you dead in the eyes and tell you all about myself: I am resilient, intelligent, capable, independent, gorgeous inside and out, and lastly, I am worthy of the entire world and more. I walked into last year thinking it was mine to conquer, but little did I know that it would chew me up and spit me out into what I am now. Unfortunately, event after event, 2021 showed me that life is not always serene and under control, it’s actually stormy and disordered to say the least. Simply put, reality blew up in my face in many different ways and for the first time in my life, I did not know how to respond. 

Unfortunate events were no stranger to me, but these held much more power over me and damaged me beyond words. I dealt with traumas, grief, and a great amount of change that pushed me to my limits. I had my dignity taken from me through a physical assault incident over an irrelevant situation that I did not feed into. To this day, I wonder what I did to deserve an experience like that and wonder if the flashbacks will ever end. I suppose it is true, the worst things really do happen to those who least deserve it. Two days later, Texas experienced a winter storm that was traumatizing for some, yet beautiful for those who had never seen snow in their lives. I watched people slide down hills of snow and take pictures of themselves with beaming smiles across their faces, while I stayed home feeling defeated, and numb like the snow that fell. A month later while I was still trying to heal from that event, I found out that my grandmother’s life was now on a time clock. Although I knew that she was going to be taken from us, not even knowing prepared me for what was to come. Once she passed away in July, I had to try to be patient with myself as I grieved her death. This event took a huge toll on my mental health all on its own. Trying to process what had happened and trying to grieve at my own pace, a month afterwards I moved four hours away for college to pursue my dreams with not even a handful of friends in the city I was in. All of my close friends were together at other universities, my boyfriend was four hours away and was adjusting perfectly due to the help of his baseball teammates, and all of my family was in my hometown four hours away as well. I had never felt more alone than I did then. To top things off, I scheduled an appointment with a doctor due to receiving signs that indicated an issue within my body. Going into the appointment, I did not expect anything major- at least nothing that a prescribed medication couldn’t fix. A few days later, I got one of the most dreadful phone calls a girl could receive. It turns out that I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a disease that consists of cysts being present all over my ovaries. With this disease, I was required to take medication full of hormones that threw my emotions off majorly, and even worse, I was informed that there was now a possibility that I would never be able to have kids of my own. This news was not easy to process and completely changed my view on life. I knew that everything around me was changing, but I expected my health to be the one thing that stayed stable – unfortunately, not even this was in my favor. Nonetheless, there was nothing I could do about it besides adjusting to this on top of many other things. Sounds simple, but trying to do so while your mental state is declining and having baggage weighing you down daily is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with. The exigent demands for me to learn and adjust even though I was not ready nor prepared to do so was extremely overwhelming. It felt as though the ground beneath my feet was continuously shifting when all I longed for was for it to stand still. 

As I previously stated, 2021 chewed me up and spit me out into what I am now. If you were to ask me what I thought about myself a few months ago, I would’ve told you I was lost, confused, and pretty much empty. Truth is, I am still confused and lost, but I am trying my best to rebuild. I am starting to learn myself, recognizing my faults, and have come to terms with the fact that it is entirely up to me to make the changes for myself. Deep down, I know that the person I described at the beginning is still somewhere within. I know this because each day, a piece of her returns and she is seen through my mood, body language, and mindset. This year has surely taken a lot from me, but it did not take everything. I’ll take the tiny pieces that are reflecting off of the shattered mess this year left me in and I’ll run with them. Eventually with time, piece by piece, I will find myself to be whole once again. Although my healing journey has only just begun, I can foresee that I am going to be made stronger and wiser. This past year has been the worst due to events that were completely out of my control, but I’ll take it upon myself to use the lessons it taught me to my advantage in order to fix myself, for myself. 2022 is me vs. me, and I am genuinely excited to see what I make out of the mess that I am now. One thing that is for certain is that I will never, under any circumstances, accept defeat. This was my closure, and it is now time to turn the page – good riddance and thank you God.

Communication and Leadership major @ The University of Texas ‘25 Living, Learning, and Growing 🤍