As a junior in college, I often look back and my high school self and think about how proud she would be of me today. Like most teenagers, I struggle with depression and have since I was 12. The depression had fogged so much of my mind in high school that I never thought I would go to college, nevermind succeed in any facet of my life. It was hard for me to imagine a future for myself. I remember sitting at home during my junior year of high school, telling myself that I would never go to college because I wasn’t smart enough and I would never make it the full way through. I had no faith in my academic abilities, or really at all, for that matter and it made it hard for me to find the idea of college appealing.
Fast forward to my senior year of high school. At this point in time, I still lacked the faith in myself to be able to succeed, but I forced myself to look at school and think about what path I would go down if I had decided to go to college. I applied to one school at first because I had loved the campus and location, which gave me some hope for college life. I even put my deposit down and committed to the school, I still miss that $500.00. This all lasted until one day I woke up and was like “what the heck am I doing?”. I had come to the realization that if I was going to force myself to go to college, it couldn’t be this one. I went on the hunt for other schools, and now, here I am at UNH. I came to school freshman year with the smallest amount of hope and confidence in myself to do something good with my life.
My first year at college was tough, I was in a major I hated and it caused me to fail classes and be put on academic probation for the rest of the school year. My GPA plummeted and so did any bit of confidence I had within myself. I felt like the concept of finding a career and getting through the next three years was so out of reach. I constantly beat myself up over those grades, any ounce of hope I had for myself was thrown right out the window. I went through one of the worst depressive episodes in my life, and it lasted me up until the spring semester of my sophomore year.
Now, here I am, a junior in college with a major I love and a career path I cannot wait to embark on. Dealing with the detrimental effects of depression and the way it manipulates your view of yourself has never been easy for me. I struggle with severe insecurities about literally everything, from my body to my eye shape to my academic abilities. While I still have yet to find confidence within myself in terms of how I look, I have found some bits of confidence in my academic abilities. I still find myself doubting my decisions and wondering if I have it in me to go far in this world, but I hang on to every bit of faith and carry it with me through every academic endeavor. I’m now a dual major in Sociology and Justice Studies with the hopes of going to law school after I graduate. It’s kind of funny to think about how someone like me, who has close to no confidence in myself, wants to go into a career where you need to have the most confidence possible. The irony here is hilarious if you ask me.
As I sit here, a junior in college, I reflect on the girl I once was and smile to myself knowing how proud she would be of me. I have always dreamt of a career in the criminal justice field, and now here I am, doing just that. It has not been easy in any regard trying to build up this confidence, but I take it day by day and remind myself that I am capable of so much more than I think. I hope that if you’re reading this and feel the same way I did or do, that you also recognize all of the things you’re capable of and remember that you can do whatever the heck you want in life.
Confidence is never easy to come by, and I barely have, it’s more so just a little travel-sample for me, but I will get there… You will get there. Have some faith in yourself and give yourself some credit. Your old self is definitely so proud of where you are today.