I have always been a person to strive for the healthiest lifestyle. No, I was not the girl who hit the gym every day or ate only veggies and eggs. I did, however, try to maintain my health by taking care of myself and always being aware of my needs, mental or physical. I have always been aware of how much is too much for me to handle and have kept away from pushing too hard.
My life got turned upside down in October 2019 as I got a diagnosis that would convey that I was not as healthy as I seemed.
Being diagnosed with a chronic auto-immune disease that will be a part of me for the rest of my life truly broke my heart. Nearly a month after my diagnosis and I am still wondering, “why did this happen to me?” However, I am trying to be forgiving of my body. I have worked my whole life to keep myself healthy, mentally and physically. It is no fault of my own for developing an illness. I am learning to find ways to be healthy with this new lifestyle rather than be upset and spiral into a pitying rage at the world.
While my health has always been of great importance to me, it now has a much greater impact on me. Not a moment goes by that I am not thinking about what decisions could impact my health in that moment.Not one decision is made now without me having to figure out how my body will react or handle it. This may seem heavy, but it’s only making me stronger. My passion to strive for health has only been encouraged through this. Yes, it is so much more work now to keep myself healthy, and yes, one little mistake could send me to the sickest I have ever been, but the fear of those consequences pushes me to work harder to find the healthy way every day. Since this diagnosis, I have been working on becoming a consistent member of the gym. I have learned so much about healthy eating and my passion for mental health advocacy has grown immensely. So while this diagnosis was the most heartbreaking thing to happen to me in my life so far, it has always been the beginning of a journey to health.
I pray that one day the efforts I am puttin ginto my health now will pay off. Maybe one day someone will find a cure for this and I will be able to live a healthy life with no fear of what could go wrong. Until that day though, I am going to continue to learn, strive, and grow in my HEALTH, not my sickness. Every day I will work to be the healthiest me I can be. My health now is a part of my identity and it is something I think about absolutely every moment of the day and I am going to always make sure I keep health as my priority.
I will not let the trials and tribulations of life hold me back from living to be the healthy version of myself I have always dreamed of being. This diagnosis is not a notion of failure, but a motivator to success.
My first semester at OSU was incredible in the social aspect of building a network, but mostly in the academic aspect. That is why my third artifact is “The Dean’s List.”
My whole life I have struggled with my perfectionism. My need to be perfect in all aspects is truly quite toxic; however, in certain realms, it is my motivator. This is such with my academics. If my grades are not perfect, I get angry with myself. Thus creating a terrible mindset for myself. After receiving a 4.0 GPA my first semester, I was ecstatic, but also gave it a shrug of my shoulders as “this is just what I am supposed to do.” This semester, I am teaching myself that this is not the case.
Earning a perfect GPA in college is no easy task. It requires hours of dedicated focus, stress, and organization. It is an honor and something of which to be incredibly proud. Accepting that this is not what is expected was not easy for me as it was just something I expected from myself. This new year, 2019, though, I’m trying to teach myself to be okay with not being perfect. There is no need to add stress upon the already stressful acts of college by exhibiting anxious behaviors for a task that can be done without them. With this, I am pushing myself to work hard, but not to put as much weight upon every task that I do. I am trying to reach my goals without the utter fear of the slightest failure. By doing this, I alleviate tons of pressure from each day while still striving for the same goal. I am learning that while I am capable of completing another semester with a 4.0, it is not the end of the world if I end with a 3.5. My goal is to be happy with being on the Dean’s List, even if that means having a lower than perfect GPA. This is coming from my journey to self-acceptance, self-love, and self-compassion. I am working on reaching my goals without putting my mental health at stake, and I am proud of myself for this and so much more. This is a long journey and it is what the second semester is all about for me.
My first semester was a journey, to say the least. It began wonderfully with making new friends and getting acquainted with my new people, my new life, and my new scholars program. I was happy and enjoying even the stressors of my first months of college. Then after a while, I started to face struggles. I broke my ankle, I fell into my anxiety and depression, and I shut myself away. Over the course of the semester, I rode the roller coaster of emotions. I struggled, I found happiness, but most of all, I survived. I came out with a 4.0 GPA that I was very proud of and I made the connections with my friends grow deeper. I am so thankful for my whole experience of my first semester. Even through the struggles, I learned and I grew and I am immensely thankful.
At the beginning of October, I faced the first of what would be a series of struggles that would try to hinder my day-to-day life. One great evening with friends, someone played my favorite kind of music–Christmas music. Not only was it my favorite type of music, but also my favorite song in the genre. When I heard the first chords of “I Don’t Want a Lot for Christmas”, I couldn’t help but to jump up and begin to dance. It turns out that I am not as great of a dancer as I had thought, for soon enough I had spun around, fallen down, and cracked my ankle.
As I had never broken a bone before, the pain I felt was indescribable. I tried to compose myself and act fine, but my friends knew better. The most amazing friends I have ever had took care of me by making me a makeshift splint and even carrying me home. Fast forward through five doctors appointments, a misdiagnosis, a worse diagnosis, and a week off of school and there I was back on campus.
I was given a walking boot, crutches, a “good luck”, and was sent on my way. When I got back to campus, I was sure that I would be fine. I mean, “it’s just a small break and a sprain… I’ll be okay.” However, I was not fine. That first day I used my crutches to walk one and a half miles across campus and when I returned to my dorm I broke down. I was physically exhausted and felt mentally defeated. I didn’t know what to do.
Later that evening, my friends stepped in and gave me a reality check. They reminded me who I am and what I have been able to overcome in the past. They helped me to realize that it is okay to ask for help and that I am capable of anything I set my mind to. This conversation really restarted my mindset and allowed me to gain my footing. I purchased a knee scooter and started trying to get more sleep for strength. I set up paratransit and allowed my friends to help me out.
Through this experience, though my journey is not yet even halfway over, I have learned so much. I have really learned that being stubborn and not asking for help will only hurt me more. Asking for help is necessary. I have also learned that sometimes I am not required to be okay under every circumstance–it is okay to be hurt. Mostly, though, I have learned that I am able to overcome everything that is thrown at me. I am strong I am able I am an overcomer.
I am proud to be a part of Honors & Scholars at such an intriguing, beautiful, and all-around spectacular university. The opportunities that lie in front of me are truly endless and I feel so utterly blessed to have been given the chance to take advantage of these opportunities through the Honors & Scholars program.
I feel that through my first year of college I have not changed much. I have grown, but not so much that I have become unrecognizable to myself. I have grown in my self-compassion–trying to be kinder to myself. I have grown in my relationships–focusing more on the value behind them rather than the surface level friendship. I have grown in my closeness to my family. I have grown in my knowledge, confidence, and dedication. This year has had plenty of ups and downs but looking back, the ups have been wonderful and the downs have taught me more than anything else. Being at OSU has been a dream come true, even with the hard moments. I love my life here. I love the people I have met. I love the school work and learning. I love the opportunities. I love everything, especially the hard times that show me how to grow. I am extremely thankful for this year. It has been a great start.
In high school, I had an English teacher named Mrs. Myser. She was my teacher for four different classes and it wasn’t until junior year that I realized the deep impact she had had on me. Not only was she an incredible teacher but also an incredible inspiration. She was someone I could go to for anything. She was someone who would listen and offer the best advice. She would help me with every assignment I requested information on. Mrs. Myser was not an easy grader; she was not one to sugar coat things. With every assignment, she pushed me to be a better writer. Her lessons taught me how to get the most out of every sentence and how to make my words take the shape of something magnificent.
Mrs. Myser was the person who inspired me the most throughout high school. She was someone I really looked up to and someone who helped push me out of my comfort zone. If it weren’t for her, I honestly wouldn’t be the person I am today. Her words of encouragement and her pushing my writing abilities led me to find what I am passionate about. Her classes and her in and of herself made me realize that she is passionate about English and helping others and so am I! If it weren’t for Mrs. Myser, I would not be on the career path I am. She encouraged me to chase my dreams more than anyone else in may life. She showed me that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to. It was all of this and more that allowed me to find what I wanted to pursue. Here I am now, as an English major, and without her, I would not have a clue which direction to go.
I am incredibly thankful to be a part of such a great community that allows me to be authentically who I am. Now, who am I, really? I am an English major on the pre-law track with a minor in Leadership Studies. I am passionate about music, theatre, service, writing, and much more, but that’s not all that I am. I can, along with my passions, be described as a motivated, energetic, loving, hard-working, empathetic, organized, compassionate, and dedicated individual. I am entirely devoted to each and every task I take part in and I am so genuinely passionate about each of them. In each day, I strive to learn something new, as I also describe myself as a life-long learner. This constantly motivates me to broaden my horizons and try new opportunities in every moment. Some opportunities I have previously taken advantage of and been a part of as well as am taking a part in are: Mount Leadership Society Scholars, The iBelieve Foundation as a delegate, intern, and staff member, Buckeye Student Leadership Academy, a job at Toys R Us, show choir captain in senior year, and many other things in between. My greatest dream in life is to simply be able to help as many people as I can in as many ways as I can. I am a go-getter and I will not stop until I’ve had a taste of all this incredible world has to offer.