I’ve tried so often to figure out exactly why leaving my first university after year one still plays on my mind . . .
I had my first experience with depression about halfway through, and reached a point when I knew it was in my best interest to see the year out, leave, and get healthy. Even so, the memory still haunts me sometimes, and I’m just now trying to sift through and understand why.
It’s as if maybe on some level I tell myself that if I’d have been stronger, I could have stayed. That maybe that’s the reason I don’t like asking for help now, or being ill, because it makes it seem as though I’m weak, and I get defensive. That maybe it caught me so off guard that I shut myself away from everyone. That maybe that’s why I struggle with committing to anything for longer than 6 months, because that’s around the time I decided to leave. That maybe that’s when I started getting closer to people, committing to friendships, and more effort was needed to maintain them, after the initial fun period wore off. That maybe I left before I could get any closer to anyone, or let anyone in. That maybe that’s why I’m so against getting a boring job, a full time job; why I always say ‘not yet’. Maybe I feel as if I cut the last bit of freedom and young-kind-of-fun short, and am desperate now to not feel trapped, but feel young again instead, to have fun with no responsibilities, no jobs, no worries. I left early, because I was certain I couldn’t cope. But maybe subconsciously, I ask myself if I could have coped, if I’d have stayed. Maybe I could have got past the loneliness and emptiness and seclusion and learned to enjoy the moment, and cope with life. Maybe I feel as if I missed out on something.
Maybe I keep forgetting the great year that I had there. Maybe I keep forgetting how much I learned. Maybe I keep forgetting all the amazing people I met, and how much fun we had. Maybe I keep forgetting just how low I was when I finally made the decision to leave. Maybe I need to remind myself that I made the right decision, for me. Maybe I need to remember that even though I left one university, I carried on and finished my degree at another. Maybe I need to remember that I stuck with it not just for six months, but for the whole three years. Maybe I need to remember that I graduated with a first class degree, and made my family proud. Maybe I need to remember that I made myself proud.
Maybe I need to remember that there are so many more fun, happy, silly times to come, so many more incredible people to meet, so many more amazing memories to make. Maybe I need to remember that the best of times are yet to come. Maybe I need to remember the part I have to play in making my own happiness, and to work hard at it everyday, even when it’s tough. Especially when it’s tough. Maybe I need to remember that all the good times and the sad times that made me who I was then helped shape me into the person I am now. Maybe I need to remember that without the time where I was, I would not be where I am. Maybe I need to remember that the person I am now is changing, too, into the person I want to be. Maybe sometimes, I need to remember to enjoy the moment I’m living in, as well as the ones I’m working towards. Maybe I need to remember that our choices make us who we are – and I wouldn’t change mine for the world.
I’ve got a long way still to go, but sometimes, maybe sometimes, it helps to remember just how far I’ve already come.