Three essays, each written as reflections on my life and mental health from sophomore year to the end of junior year.
What Happens When You Fall in Love Study Abroad
April 23rd, 2017, thoughts post-Sant Jordi Day festivities
My upcoming study abroad semester in Spain was greeted with an excessive inflow of advice. Suddenly, everyone from the greeter at my gym to my grandmother’s neighbor was an expert in the dangers of overseas. And on one topic in particular. Love.
“Be careful- you’ll meet some dark and brooding European man and be swept off your feet. Next thing we know, you’ll be gone forever.” Despite the frequency of these warnings, the well-meaning had failed to alert me to the repercussions of falling in love while abroad, with the life I led abroad. Specifically, with the person I am here, lighter and happier than ever before. They did not sufficiently foresee what would happen when I began to celebrate the person I am, instead of seeking someone or something to make me feel whole...
Exactly One Year Ago , Today
Originally written December 2016
Today I read the paper I had written at my unhappiest point, one year ago.
I wish I could speak to the girl in the reflection. A girl who wanted to stop feeling. Who had questioned taking her life. I wish I could tell her all that was in store for her, the place she would be in one year. Sarah one year ago had yet to realize her worth, to recognize her best friends, to join student government, to move to New York, intern for her dream company, Shinola, and live with four male 25-year old UVA grads turned bankers in a hysterical blind sublet in Tribeca. She had yet to put herself in situations of unfamiliarity that would force her to grow and find peace in discomfort- to spend a month in India, to survive a summer in Manhattan without having ever stepped foot in New York. She had yet to fall in love at least twenty times, both with eligible bachelors but also herself, to get a call from SharkTank about the start-up she created, to get a job at an investment bank...
The Semester I Became Well
Originally written December 2015
Surrounded by 40,000 people, I felt utterly and inexplicably alone. A high achiever living amongst thousands of other achievers, the communities I had chosen to immerse myself were becoming toxic. The constant competition and need for achievement that originally attracted me to the University of Michigan were no longer invigorating and inspiring, but rather exhausting.
I was giving all my energy and value to things and relationships that were not returning value to me, and as a result, I no longer found value in myself. It began as a whisper of unhappiness that appeared when my mind wandered, but stroked by a series of undesirable events, the whisper grew into a voice.