What I Learned From My Fourth Semester of College

Usually at the end of every semester, I write out a list of things I learned during the course of the last few months.

This semester is different, though.

I’ve been in school for two and a half years now and I’ve never encountered a semester as difficult as this one. My first semester was hard, but nothing like this.

Not only was my class load difficult, but mentally and emotionally I’ve been struggling a lot. I’ve felt like I have no friends since the first week of classes. My mental health has been all over the place, leading me to feel really emotionally unstable. I’ve learned some things about my mental health which may explain a lot of issues I’ve been having, but it happens to be a very difficult problem to deal with, which means finding a therapist or someone to help me in the area is close to impossible. Hopeless. I’ve taken a break from social media like Instagram and Facebook, which I thought would rejuvenate me, and while it’s given me more time for homework, in some areas of my life it’s made me feel even more lonely. Maybe that’s an issue all in itself. All the growth I felt last semester is gone and I feel unsure of who I am- I’m just a shell. Instead of turning to God, I’ve just allowed myself to drown in my sorrows. I’ve stubbornly taken steps away from my only source of help and comfort.

You can say things have been hard.

But I’ve also experienced good things. I just celebrated my 6 month marriage anniversary with my husband, whom I love. I wrote a NOVEL (which I’m two chapters away from finishing). I’ve also read a bunch of really amazing books. I’ve aced all my classes, by some miracle. I’ve practiced a lot of yoga, and made a lot of French fries. Shane and I are currently watching through all 10 seasons of Friends, and it makes me laugh so hard I can’t breathe. And even though I constantly turn away from God, He and His love and grace remain.

I’m still trying to find the lessons in friends leaving me. I’m still trying to learn what my mental illnesses might mean for me and my life moving forward. I’m still working on cultivating the habit and desire to go to God in every situation.

Even though I haven’t gotten there yet, I’m still moving. I haven’t fallen asleep and stayed there like my brain tried to convince me to do too many times this semester. I’m not giving into depression and mood swings. I’m not allowing myself to believe that I’m not worthy of friendship or love.

This semester was hard, but I know one day I’ll look back and remember it as the semester that I kept on breathing. It’ll be the semester that I grew in a different way, even if it’s not the way that fills me with joy and excitement.

Maybe that day is really far down the line. But it’ll be here, nonetheless. I just have to keep moving.

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