College was my biggest challenge this year. I suppose I can say I overcame freshman year but I still have a few exams left so its not really over yet. I’m still alive so I guess that counts for something considering how many times I really thought I wasn’t going to make it through this year.
Honestly, I don’t know what I would tell my past self. I don’t even know what to tell myself now. I guess I would say that its ok to take care of myself. It’s ok to be selfish and take time for myself to make sure I am ok. Its ok to be who I am and not who people think I am.
People love to say that college is where you find who you are but they don’t tell you how much time you spend being lost, being who you are not. I think the most important thing I would tell myself its that college is going to be extremely hard, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever encountered. But, there will be a lot of fun, happy moments and it is imperative to survival to enjoy every second of those moments. There will be a lot of times that I consider dropping out but my value and my worth is not in that essay or that exam so its nothing to lose all hope over.
The most important thing I learned is that its ok to ask for help. Because sometimes, “you think you want to die, but really you just want to be saved.” Many people have helped save me this year so its not even close to being the end for me. Its only the beginning.
Sometimes when I am walking down the street and I see people, I like to make up stories about their life; what they’re doing, where they’re going, and why. I make up a lot of random things but I do not think I have ever created a story where someone had an addiction or was in recovery. After this week’s lecture, I realized that that narrative would be true for a lot more people than I would expect. The main thing I think of when I hear addiction is images of people being violent, living in dirty places, and having an extreme lack of self control; the things you see on the news and dramatized on TV. But now I realize that this is not always the case. There are people who could be sitting next to me in my classes and are struggling with an addiction.
When dealing with the topic of addiction, I think it is important that everyone remembers that people who are struggling with it are still people. Whatever choices they have or whatever circumstances they are currently in does not negate their humanity. We all have to be able to respect people regardless of what we might perceive to be “bad” or “socially unacceptable.” Everyone has a story and just because someone’s story may be different than our own, does not justify their deprivation of love, community, and understanding. Because at the end of the day, we all have our issues, downfalls and struggles, but that is what makes us who we are.
Honestly, it’d be really easy to say that this semester was complete trash but there’s a lot that made it good as well. This has definitely been a huge transition for me and has really been a learning experience. I was really scared when I wrote my letter to myself and I have gotten a lot more comfortable since then. My main goal in my letter was to calm down and just enjoy the experience. I definitely feel like I have learned a lot in and out of my classes and I’ve been to really reflect and analyze myself. I’ve been faced with many new situations and I have had to become really secure in myself to face these situations.
While this semester may have been trash, I think it set me up to have a really good second semester. This semester was an exploration and I was able to find new people, new interests, and new opportunities. Next semester I will be better prepared to fully participate in and take advantage of all the new things in my life. I might be extremely stressed out, but it’ll be the good kind of stress; the kind that makes you feel productive. I look forward to what the future has to bring.
Death is something that a lot of people fear. I think this is mostly because they feel they haven’t done enough while they lived here. While I do not necessarily fear death, I do fear not being remembered for doing something good in this world. My ultimate goal in life is to leave a lasting impression in the world, even if only one person if influenced by me. But I also would like to change something in the world around me.
I want to have a legacy something like that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Not only did he make a difference for African Americans in our society, he spread the word of God while doing it. I would like to do something about health disparities among African Americans. That is why I am entering the field of public health. I especially want to work in Chicago and create a program that improves the overall quality of health for people who live in areas with poor healthcare services. I have a desire to be a civil rights activist also fighting for social equality.
In addition to this, I want to be able to spread the word of God. My religion is very important to me and when I am gone, the first thing I want people to say about me is that I lived my life for the glory of God. If I could talk about God and lead a movement as big as Martin Luther King did, that would be the best legacy I could have.