You’re the biggest hypocrite.
You spent your entire high school career working for scholarships and good grades to get into your dream school.
You spent your time not dating boys because you knew you’d find the one in college
You bragged to your friends about how you could not wait to leave home and find yourself.
College isn’t what you expected, though.
The first month was fun. You met new people. Went to class. And it was just as you imagined it.
Until you got sick. Not a physical cold, or 24-hour flu but a painful mental illness. You cry and cry and cry. You feel so alone even though you have 50+ “family” members at school rooting for you to succeed. Even though you have your loving and supportive family at home. Even though you have three beautiful roommates who push you to have fun. Even though your professors and faculty are doing everything they can for you to succeed.
You want to go out with your friends but you can’t. You want to stay the whole weekend but you can’t. You hold back the tears, you put on the smile and you pretend to be having the time of your life. But you’re not.
Going home is nothing to be ashamed of. Your mental health is more important than the parties or the football games or the social gatherings. You take care of your brain before you take care of your expectations of college.
Crying is okay. Going home is okay. Taking care of yourself is okay. Working to be the best person you can be is okay.
People may judge you, they don’t mean to upset you. Ignore the snarky comments about how you’re going home AGAIN. They don’t understand and you shouldn’t expect them to, you didn’t understand it just a few short months ago. They don’t know the pain you go through. They don’t understand the panic attacks you experience walking into a crowded room. Or the exhaustion you experience from just attending class. Depression and anxiety are not easy.
You had it easy in high school. You didn’t fully understand the effect these horrible mental diseases have on people. You couldn’t fully understand people who didn’t want to hang out, or couldn’t physically get out of bed. But now you do.
You now have a new perspective on how mental illnesses can create an everyday struggle. Mental illness is not understood or even talked about in today’s age. It has made your transition into life at college a horrible experience, and you wish there were more options for people like you to seek help. For you, the best option at this point is to go home every weekend.
To the girl who goes home every weekend. You’re loved. God loves you, your family at school and home love you and the staff at your university love you.
Everyone handles this transition in a different way. College is about finding yourself; whether that be how you have fun or how you take care of yourself.
Even if you aren’t suffering from a mental illness it is still OKAY to go home.
Home should be your safe place. Home should be somewhere you want to go. But you also need to learn that the real world is calling and you can’t be at home forever.
But for now, do what you need to do to survive your first year at college.
I’ll be working on it, and I hope you do too.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:6-7