If you’re reading this, I’m here for you.
I’m not sure of your particular struggles, or the specific circumstances you’re facing, but I’m here for you.
I’m not sure of my audience but if you’re a college student, let me also add that I understand. College is incredibly demanding and frustrating. It begs each one of us to take a cold, hard look at ourselves and really decide who we are, who we might want to be, and what we believe in. And as our first experience outside the home in which we’ve grown up, it can be challenging. Without the support structure of our parents, siblings, best friends, and teachers and mentors surrounding us, we must trudge through the hard times with new people, or even alone. The assignments far outweigh any amount of free time we ever have, the applications are constant, and rejections endless. It’s easy to get bogged down by the negative aspects of studying at a major university. But remember, I’m here for you.
However, don’t let the rejections get to you in a way that keeps you from trying. First semester of second year, I was rejected from every single thing I applied to, which was about 7 different things. Fortune favored me a bit more this semester, but I’ve still been rejected. When the acceptance emails and letters do roll around, I’ve learned to appreciate the heck out of them. Just know that even the people who seem to never get turned down still have that exhaustingly long laundry list of rejection letters that everyone keeps tucked out of sight. When the weight of the perpetual denials seems too heavy to bear alone, remember that I’m here for you.
If you ever feel like an emotion is too crazy, too farfetched, or you’re guilty about feeling certain emotions, I want you to realize that all emotions are justified, and part of the human experience. Take them in. Let them wash over you. Really feel them in the depths of your soul. But then let them go. Forgive yourself. Allow yourself to feel better. Don’t let these emotions rule your life, or your character. Learn from the hard times, and let your character reflect what you’ve learned. Help someone else out when they’re trapped in the shadowy parts of life and their mind. And remember, I’m here for you.
I’m a huge musical nerd, and one of my favorites, Next to Normal, deals a lot with mental illness, depression, and anxiety. One of my favorite songs, “Light,” contains some lyrics that I look to when I’m struggling:
“Day after day,
Give me clouds, and rain and gray.
Give me pain, if that's what's real.
It's the price we pay to feel.
The price of love is loss,
But still we pay.
We love anyway.”
These words accept the fact that life is difficult, but the human aspect of trying again, and loving after lost is maintained. I hope these words give you solace. The body benefits from happy times, but it is the mind that is shaped by grief and difficulty.
I may not know you, but I believe that you are a unique individual with a specific and significant purpose here. I believe that you contribute to this community, to this world. It might sometimes be difficult to remember that purpose, or to even find it in the first place, but that doesn’t mean we ever stop trying. You are going to do amazing things in this world. And when you accomplish that, let me know, because I’m here for you.
Rebecca S., University of Virginia