Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile
Whenever adults talk about their college years, they tell you that it’s the best four years of your life. With that wistful nostalgia, they describe their crazy adventures of independence and recklessness, the friends that they’ve made and how happy they were.
They forget to mention, however, that there is some really shitty stuff that happens.
Here are some things that I’ve discovered about life since being at college.
You’ll be homesick. Whether you go to school 15 or 1500 miles away, you’ll miss the comforts of home, your own bed, your parent’s cooking and your dog.
You’ll feel out of place for a while. You will feel uncomfortable without all of your friends from high school, and you’ll worry that you won’t ever make friends like the ones that you used to have. It’s okay though, because it’ll make you that much more thankful for the friends you do have, and you’ll text and call them telling them that you love them.
School is difficult. And you’ll struggle to balance social life and academia. You’ll bomb some tests; you won’t get that 4.0 like you had in high school, and you may even have to drop some courses.
You may date someone that you think will be your future. Maybe they will, or maybe things won’t work out. You’ll cry about boys (or girls) and you’ll eat some Ben & Jerry’s.
You’ll make mistakes. You’ll fuck up relationships, you’ll say the wrong things, you’ll mess up. You’ll drink too much at that party, and you’ll do things you regret.
You’ll discover that life is hard. People will hurt you and you’ll feel lonely and things will be hard. You’ll have to constantly fight to keep things together or put things back together.
And you know what? It’s okay to feel these things. That’s the number one thing I’ve realized. There is no right way to feel, and we shouldn’t feel ashamed that we have these feelings. You shouldn’t feel like you have to hide it away, lock in a corner of your heart, keeping it there until it hurts so much you can’t breathe.
Find the people that you love, and tell them that you love them. Share your story with them, and listen to them when you can. We can learn so much from each other, but we’re so afraid of being dependent on others. Despite being hurt before, let yourself be vulnerable. Life is this crazy, beautiful, disastrous mess, and sometimes we need people to help us hack away at the shit that is keeping us from being happy.
Life isn’t ideal. It’s never easy, but maybe that’s the point: that one day, all this struggle will bring amazing beauty. Maybe it won’t mean anything. But for right now, all we can do is weather this storm as it comes and anchor ourselves to what we believe in and to those we believe to be true.
I want to die saying that even if love doesn’t exist, even if I end up unfulfilled by my career and personal relationships and even if I die alone in a ditch somewhere or half-eaten by wild dogs, I believed in the ecstasy of life. I dared to believe.
Nico Lang, “Why Being A Romantic Isn’t Hopeless”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Sorry that I’ve been neglecting my tumblr once again. It seems that every time my life takes a turn towards things that are difficult, my creativity is the first thing to go. But I’ve been dealing with a slew of medical and personal problems that have left me feelings emotionally unstable and very sad. So now I’m back to therapeutically blog about life things. Enjoy.