MY MEETING WITH STANDARDS (HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO ME)

This Friday I really only got out of bed two times, and only to get food or go to the bathroom. I slept a lot, I missed my one class, and I really didn’t do anything productive.

I had a few days like that last semester, except the doctor had a different name to explain it. That was called “depression”, whereas Friday’s diagnosis could just be called the flu or a head cold. But the difference is that I didn’t need to go anywhere to get that diagnosis because I knew I could basically just sleep it off, drink some orange juice, eat lots of sodium (for my POTS), and in a few days it would correct itself.

I didn’t know that last semester. Or even throughout freshman year, for that matter. I didn’t know if I’d ever wake up, not feeling heavy, or numb, or just yearning to feel something. I didn’t know if a day would go by where I didn’t cry or I didn’t constantly think about dropping out of school, or just quitting. I didn’t know what these feelings were and that they even had a name, and that’s mostly because of the stigma behind terms like “depression” and “anxiety” and “ADD.”

There’s this statistic I read somewhere about people who take their own lives, and how they normally don’t have that feeling of community–whether it’s a support system or a church group or just close friends or family. In many senses of the word, they feel alone.

When I joined Phi Mu, I felt less alone. We had a sleepover before initiation and we went around the room and talked about the best time and the worst time of our lives. I was so moved by the openness of everyone and the atmosphere that was created–people talked about drugs, rape, the death of loved ones, even stories of walking in on a brother attempting suicide. Nothing was held back because these were all stories of things we had overcome. And now we had each other as a support system, should we need it. We knew what everyone went through at their worst, and we felt less alone.

My story of seeking out therapy after a professor referred me (due to a few rather dark, personal essays) seemed trivial in comparison, but I got a lot of love for sharing. And a few months later, a girl in my pledge class reached out to me with questions about it, because she was feeling the same way and wanted to find a professional to talk to.

Depression isn’t some rare, terminal disease that needs to be whispered about, but sometimes it is. People don’t know that much about it, and it’s because people are afraid to talk. I didn’t even know until last month that my ADD medicine can sometimes be deemed useless due to my depression. The brain is confusing AF, and we shouldn’t be scared off from trying to understand it and talk to one another about it. Because when we don’t, that’s when people can slip through the cracks.

Tomorrow I have a meeting because right now I’m on probation for not meeting grades–meaning that last semester I received a GPA of 2.6, which was actually pretty surprising for me. I mean, I didn’t think I did that bad. But I guess I did, and that requires a punishment–a probation period–because I didn’t meet standards.

And it’s interesting, because you could ask me anything about the Shakespeare plays I read or the media and communication class I took. Ask me about rhetoric or geography or how to write a solid news story for video or promote literacy in a high school class, and I could answer. I did learn a lot last semester, but just not in time, I guess. I didn’t always meet deadlines, I didn’t always go to class, and you can’t reward that behavior. It’s not fair to.

So tomorrow I’ll have to sit in front of a committee and give my side of the story, because although the numbers don’t lie, they never tell the full truth either. And it’ll be good practice for me, I guess, because I know that for the rest of my life, I’ll have to fight to be seen as more than a number. More than a transcript of grades or a piece of paper. Because I know I’ll be able to make a great teacher or a journalist or whatever I choose to do, and I know that this education will help me in the future, but the numbers aren’t really helping my case right now.

And it’s funny because I can tell them all that I’ve learned. I can tell them about all the wonderful relationships I have with my professors, and I can even talk about the article I’m co-authoring that’s going to go in some scholarly journal at the end of the semester, but they won’t really care about that. Because I could contribute all I have and work to the most of my ability, but if I don’t make grades, I could be dropped from Phi Mu, no questions asked.

So tomorrow, I don’t really know what I’m going to say. All I know is that at the end, I’ll ensure them that this semester is going to be better. I take adderall in the morning and citalopram at night. I have a supportive doctor and supportive friends. I’ve finally told my full family about what’s been going on with me. I haven’t had a panic attack in a month, and I even have a therapist I can turn to, should I need even more help. And I’ll end by saying that so far, I have all A’s, because that might be the only thing they really want to hear.

Because, again, we don’t know how to validate anything if we can’t quantify it.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. You should listen to this wonderful song by Dodie Clark:

MY 2015 BUCKET LIST RECAP

Dear Reader,

At the beginning of 2015, I started a bucket list in the hopes that at the end of the year, I would be somewhat more talented, worldly, or just have done more stuff, I guess. Although I didn’t get to complete everything on the list (when do I ever, really?) I did do a lot this year that I’m proud of. So I thought I’d make this recap.

In 2015 I…

  • became an Aunt

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  • rushed (and joined) a sorority

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  • went somewhere new (Gatlingburg, TN)

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  • watched 50 new movies
  • made a jar for memories (and gave it to Sarah)

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  • was more confident in a bathing suit than I have been, but we’re still working on it
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  • wrote at least 3 letters to 23-year-old Sammy
  • ran a 5k (and took HORRIBLE pictures but I’ll post them here anyway)

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  • finished my daily sudoku puzzles (from 2014)
  • went to a concert (Ed Sheeran!!)
  • watched the sunrise

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  • learned how to use chopsticks
  • joined a new club (lol yay CLT!)
  • explored interesting buildings on campus that I’ve never seen before

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  • wrote a letter

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  • took a hot bath/had a spa day (this is the most scandalous pic I’ve ever taken)

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  • learned how to tap dance (more or less)
  • started a YouTube channel

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  • took a road trip with Sarah!

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  • used the ouija board for the first time in years (I’m planning on telling that story on here eventually)

and the last thing on my bucket list was:

  • be someone’s inspiration for 2016–I don’t know if I actually did that one but it was a good one to keep on here nonetheless

 

So here’s to 2015, and here’s to the new year! If you feel inclined, I would love to know what some of your highlights of the year were in the comments! Also, leave any suggestions for a 2016 bucket list–Sarah agreed to join me this year and we have some big things planned. 🙂

Sincerely,

Sammy

IT’S MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY Y’ALL

Dear Reader,

I’ve got my GEO homework on my left, my white chocolate mocha on my right, and I’m feeling good. Stressed, but good. And ready to get my life back on track.

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I have a lot planned for this week. I have two papers due but one is about Kanye and the other is about Avatar: The Last Airbender so I really can’t complain. I also have my first project due soon and one is being introduced for another class, but this all gives me more reason to reach out to my professors. That’s honestly one of my favorite things about college, because my professors are not only distinguished and knowledgeable and really helpful, but they’re all pretty goofy and weird. Honestly I wish I could just follow my English professor around all day and see his perception of the world because he comes up with the strangest things. I can’t wait to talk about Kanye with him.

I’m also running my first philanthropy event (making tye-dye blankets for kids yooo) on Tuesday and we have our first corridor event on Wednesday with Insomnia Cookies catering. And on Thursday I’m going to a lecture called “Cupcakes, Pinterest & Ladyporn” for extra credit. As if I needed an incentive to go.

I also plan to make a blog post about my cramazing (crazy and amazing. I went for it and I don’t know how I feel about it but I’m a bit sleep deprived so I’m leaving it in. Feeling good.) weekend and film two videos this week so next week I can rest easy. I know one is going to be a September favorites but I have no clue what the other will be so if you have any ideas (or favorites you want to share), please leave a comment and let me know!!

That’s the other thing I want to do this week. I’m going to take full advantage of any downtime I have and actually connect with people on here and YouTube. I constantly find myself just putting stuff out there and then only interacting with the people who come to me first, but I find that to be pretty ineffective and rather narcissistic. So I want to stop it! I feel like I haven’t read another blog post in weeks and I certainly haven’t found anyone new, which is one of my favorite things to do on this website. So I’m going to explore some more this week and reach out. Also–to whoever’s still reading–if you have any suggestions of people I should check out, leave them below. Yay WordPress community!

Alright, I really need to go now. Enough talking, I’m actually going to do something. Before this motivational buzz (or maybe that’s just the coffee) wears off.

Okay. Back to the aforementioned geography homework.

Sincerely,

Sammy

WEEK SIX: SRATS, SELFIES AND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

Dear Reader,

Hey remember a few weeks ago when I said that I had a really bad week but I wanted to focus on the good because I probably wouldn’t remember the little details if I recorded them? Well, this week was worse, so let’s do that again!

Good thing #1 of week six is this: I JOINED PHI MU!!!

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I’ve talked about rush a little bit here and there, and there will be an entirely separate post about it later, but I could not be happier to be a phi mu! I was really worried because I could see myself fitting in any of the last three sororities, but I couldn’t go to their last events because I was so sick on Saturday (one of the bad things, so we’re just going to skip over details).

But bid day was fantastic! I feel right at home and really lucky that I chose phi mu, because I fit in a lot more than I thought I would. And these girls are so friendly, and I’m already so inspired by a lot of them! I just can’t wait to see what my future will become with this amazing group of women. 🙂

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Yeah and then the rest of my week definitely had good moments, but a lot of it was just really bad. It’s just crazy how much of a rollercoaster my emotions are on in college. I mean, I had some moments of true happiness this week, but then I would just think about something and I’d go right back down.

That’s actually what a lot of it was–just me in my own head. And the hardest part was that my computer was dead for a few days so I couldn’t write about it–not that I would necessarily blog about it, but I have a private journal that I’ve been writing in for seven years now, and it just helps me through things. I like writing for clarity. So it was just hard not having that this week when I really needed to sort stuff out. (I tried to on pen and paper but it was just not happening)

But I had some productive, though sleepless nights.

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And I checked off another item on my bucket list because of it! (I watched the sunrise, but the best pictures I took were still when it was pretty dark out so here ya go)

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And I’ve decided I want to dye my hair blue! So either this

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Or this

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So yeah. Big things are happening here in Ohio. There’s always something to look forward to.

Sincerely,

Sammy

WEEK FIVE: A SUNDAY I’LL NEVER FORGET

Dear Reader,

Wow. A long time it has been. I’m about halfway through week 6 as I’m writing this, but WOW these past weeks have been crazy busy. Sorry again for the lack of pictures, but let’s just get in there.

There are three major events that occurred during my fifth week of 2015:

#1: The beginning of rush. 

I am going to write an entirely separate post all about my rush experience sooner or later, but I will say these few things. First and foremost, I am SO happy where I am (no spoilers, you’ll learn in week 6).

Second, if you struggle with major self confidence issues, rush MAY NOT BE FOR YOU. Then again, a lot of things may just worsen your problem, so it’s best if you just get over it and learn to love yourself. And if you do so, please let me know how.

And lastly, much of what you hear about rush is true. It is the worst week (or two weekends, in my case) of your life. Cuts will hurt tremendously if you get too attached too quickly, which I’m so thankful didn’t happen to me (not the getting cut part–that definitely happened). People will judge you and your opinion MAY be persuaded if you listen to the wrong people. BUT if you go through with an open mind, be yourself, and choose a place that wants you just as much as you want it, you will find a home.

Sidenote that must be stated: sororities are not for everyone and they do not make or break your college experience. You are not better than anyone if you are in a sorority, nor are you more independent if you go without.

All, of course, will be followed up in a future post.

#2: Murder/Suicide at Miami University

The tragic story goes like this: a girl had just broken up with her boyfriend, and he was coming to see her. She knew this and called the cops, worried he might do something. They showed up and escorted him upstairs, where the pair talked everything out and the cops were eventually dismissed. The girl let him stay the night because he had drove so far. Then in the morning he shot her twice, and then himself.

My friend lives in the room directly below the girl’s and woke up to the shots, but because we live in Oxford, a seemingly safe community, she thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.

Now, many people woke up to this horrible news and feared for their friends at Level 27. I, on the other hand, was lucky enough to wake up to something else.

#3: The birth of my niece. 

On Sunday, February 1st at 1:02 AM, Molly Ann Cox was born, weighing 7 pounds, 10.8 ounces. She and my sister and the rest of my family are happy and healthy, and I am so fortunate.

But these two events happened on the same day. The tragic loss of Rebecca Eldemire, which shook the worlds of many. Think of her family, friends, and anyone who knew her or the man who shot her. And then those still living in that apartment complex, fully aware of what happened.

As well as everyone else in Oxford, a town safe enough for me to walk home at 3 in the morning from the library without so much as a second thought. Obviously that’s a different situation, but the people around us can hurt us–even those who may say they love us. And our lives are so fragile, they can be taken in an instant.

Although I never knew Rebecca, I pray that her family, friends, and loved ones make it through this tough time, just as I pray that people realize something. No, it’s not okay to compare anyone’s problems or successes or obstacles. But it is okay to realize when you’re taking something for granted. And many people take for granted how precious life is.

So on one day, I heard this heart-breaking story (as well as the concerns from my friend having to live directly below the scene of the crime), I got dropped from 9 sororities, and I was blessed with the birth of my first niece.

I don’t think I’ve made as distinct of a point as I wanted to make, but some things matter and some don’t, and it’s good to realize it and take every day as the gift it is.

Sorry for no pictures this week, wordpress wouldn’t let me upload any, and I wanted to take this post in a different direction anyway.

The one I upload on Thursday will be like the ones I posted before.

Have a wonderful, safe night everybody.

Sincerely,

Sammy