When I Started College…

…I was in a major I did not like, but I felt weak in admitting I was not good at science. My GPA was falling and by my second semester of my sophomore year I was put on probation and asked to bring my grades up, or else I would be kicked out of the University. That semester I was on probation was my worst semester ever.

I would take out my stress by eating large meals filled with fat and high calories. It was comfort food, but I was having it every night. I gained a lot of weight in the process and every time my mother saw me, she used to put me down for it. When I tried to explain to her that I felt like I struggled with my image, she yelled at me for trying to blame my problems elsewhere.

I was still in the wrong major taking those classes I knew I was not good at and thus continued to watch my grades go down, knowing in the back of my mind I would be unable to pull my GPA off probation. My grades, the stress of disappointing my parents along with my gaining weight led me to continue to feel worse about my situation, pushing me to eat more and treat myself badly. It was a cycle and it would not end.

Around the month of April, things had gotten so bad I used to spend my weekends in my room sleeping or eating to avoid responsibilities. I felt like when I went in public I put on a face and no one knew what was going on, but then I would come home and cry and feel hopeless. I also started to deal with panic attacks during this time.

I remember one night in particular when it got really bad. My roommate was gone home for the weekend and I had been alone crying. I got up to get a glass of water from the kitchen and my eye caught a knife in the sink. I remember picking up the knife and wondering how it would feel to cut my arm. I wondered if it would reduce the pain my chest and help me forget about it. I thought how easily my problems would be solved if I just stabbed myself. I didn’t end up doing anything, but when I think of my worst times that moment often comes to mind.

The semester ended and I was unable to pull my grades up. I was officially kicked out of the university but someone who worked on campus, who cares a lot about me, pushed me to appeal the decision asking for one more semester and telling them I would change my major to something I like. I won the appeal and was given the summer to take classes in my new major to pull my GPA up. It was the first semester I made a 4.0. I was finally learning what I wanted to and college felt like a place I could see myself grow.

After the summer, I settled into my new major and things started looking up. I was not eating like before, so I started to loose some weight and feel healthier about my body. I got a job as well, which helped make me feel independent. My panic attacks stopped and I was not ashamed of who I was anymore. I found myself surrounded by very positive people who I opened up and shared my pains with. And, despite my worst fears, they really accepted me and gave me love and support.

I graduated with a 3.0 GPA, with a major and minor I love, this past May. I now attend graduate school where I am studying and excelling in a field I love very much. If someone had told that girl looking at the knife I would be here today, she would have never believed it. Yet somehow, despite it all, I am here today. I’m really glad that I choose my own happiness in what I wanted to study and the kind of person I wanted to be. I was never happy when I was following someone else’s dream. The day I started to follow mine was the day things started to really take a turn for the best. And now I’m finally in a place where I love myself and who I want to be.