Monday, April 13, 2015

These Last Two Years

In these next couple weeks, I'll be wrapping up my sophomore year of college. Oh. My. Gosh. Yup. We're halfway through, folks! You should know by now that I love lists, so get ready for some unsolicited advice in list format.

Some stuff I've learned, in no particular order:
  1. Organic chemistry is HARD.
  2. Sometimes getting an A isn't about knowing the subject, it's about knowing the professor.
  3. DETAILS MATTER. My brain is just not wired this way. But I'm trying.
  4. Memorization is important. My brain isn't wired this way either.
  5. Form a study group. Yeah, maybe you don't actually need help, but your group members will keep you accountable and focused.
  6. Don't park in tow away zones. They aren't kidding around.
  7. Studying in the library is really helpful, if only because it's not socially acceptable to watch Netflix there.
  8. Living in the dorms the first year was the best decision I ever made. It's how I made all of my best friendships. And your freshman year roommate? If you get lucky like I did, that's a really special bond.
  9. Your best friend back home is allowed to have her (or his) own life. And guess what? You're allowed to have your own life too.  It's okay if the two of you can't share every little thing anymore. It really is. But try, really try, to make time for them still. Call them every now and then and MAKE SURE you ask about their life too.
  10. On that note, make time for your parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. too. They love you and miss you so much.
  11. Say thank you. It doesn't matter if it's to your professor, TA, or the lady in the dining hall. Just say thanks.
  12. Take classes outside your major. Make time for things you think are interesting, even if there's no real reason for it. You have so many opportunities right now.
  13. HELP CLEAN THE APARTMENT. Your roomies will thank you.
  14. Stay up late sometimes. People are vulnerable late at night. That's when the deep conversations happen. You have class in the morning? So what? It's one day.
  15. Light candles when you study. They're really calming.
  16. Ask for help when you need it. Whether it's with classes, people, or your own heart, ask for the help you need.
  17. Work out whenever you get the time.
  18. Apply for stuff on a whim.
  19. Do NOT, under any circumstances, take 11 credits of hard math/science all at the same time. Just don't.
  20. Try not to get so stressed that you cry on the bathroom floor for 1.5 hours.
  21. Love others deeply. It's hard and it's draining, but it's incredible.
  22. Have so much fun, whatever that entails for you.
  23. Drive to the middle of nowhere at night and look at the stars.
  24. Go on adventures.
  25. Learn a foreign language. Minor in it. Bilingualism is awesome.
  26. Your feelings are ALWAYS valid.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Thing about Depression

Hiya. I know what you're thinking. "Oh my gosh, she's about to write another thing apologizing for ignoring her blog."'re wrong. Ish. I'm not even apologizing because it's probably just annoying at this point. Instead, I'll be telling you about something very personal that may or may not shed some light on why I've been such an absentee blog mom lately.

One more thing before I start: I don't want your sympathy. I'm not asking for and don't expect pity. I'm not that badly off. I'm telling you all of this (assuming anyone actually reads my blog anymore) in hopes that someone, anyone, reads this and thinks "wow, me too." If you're that person, hey there. You aren't alone. I feel that way too.

Here goes.

The thing about depression is that it's not constant. Some days you wake up and all you want to do is lay there and not move and maybe just cry for awhile. Other days you wake up and you're happy and for just a second you think maybe, just maybe, you're okay. For just a moment, you have hope. And that hope, in its own way, is crueler than the sorrow. Because in a matter of seconds, minutes, hours, or days, it gets ripped away. And then you're back to that ache in your heart, that emptiness in your soul.
The thing about depression is that it's not obvious. It's not a giant, crippling thing where one day you're fine, and the next you stop getting out of bed. It's little stuff. Skipping church one week. Withdrawing from people a bit. Smiling less. Sleeping later. All stuff that could just be normal. On the outside, it doesn't look like you're crippled. But your heart certainly is.
The thing about depression is that people think it's this never ending darkness. It's not. Depression is about basking in the shadows. Searching for a light, seeing it in the distance, close enough to touch, but not to hold on to. 
The thing about's not what you think. Depression isn't crying every day, ignoring your friends, skipping every class. Depression is on again off again, twisting and turning, difficult to escape. Depression is like coming out of Novocaine after a rough dental procedure. You're still numb. You feel some things, but you're numb. The things you feel aren't quite right. You know you feel them, but you also know they don't feel the way they're supposed to. Laughter and joy and everything else...they just can't quite reach your soul. Depression creates distance. You feel far from everyone....including yourself.
The thing about depression is that it's unpredictable. One morning, you wake up and you're full of crushing sadness. A few hours later, you're happy, laughing with friends. Then, all the sudden, it hits you again, and you're sitting there laughing but you're also just so sad. Sometimes you're just sad and there's no rhyme or reason but you just aren't happy.
That's depression. You can't know what it is from a textbook. It's different for everyone, but that's what it is for me.