Lessons Learned While Surviving Finals

I can finally say that I survived my first college finals week. It was the longest week of my life; it seemed to last three years. My tests didn’t go as planned but I tried my best and practically became a slave to studying in the process. I reached the point towards the end of last week where my brain turned into mush and I began to feel like an extra on The Walking Dead.

Now I’ve been home for a few days and have never felt more relieved. I forgot how comforting it is to be able to hug my dogs and sleep in my own room on my bed that’s not 5 feet off the ground. I haven’t felt this at peace in a very long time; then again I’ve done something as strenuous as college finals.

Whether you finished your first ever week of finals or you third, you should feel extra proud. I don’t think there’s anything as stressful and tiring that exists in this world other than those seven days. We can say that we survived and maybe not have thrived, but we lived to tell the tale and that’s all that matters. As for grades, as long as you tried your best that too is all that matters. As my friends kindly reminded me at the end of my week, “C’s get degrees.”

As I struggled and fought my way through my tests, I had many realizations that I thought I’d share. I had many minor and one slightly larger, break downs throughout that time that brought on some very good thinking and reflecting time. The stress really makes you think about what the hell is happening in your life.

Ever since I entered college in August, I have been majorly confused about what I want to major in. Granted, most kids are probably in the same boat as me, but to me it has been nerve wracking. Growing up I’ve always had a plan for what I wanted to do and so all of a sudden realizing that I actually don’t know terrified me. Since the end of junior year of high school, I have felt torn when it comes to what I want to major in. I want to do so many things in my life time that I don’t know which to focus on. I came into college thinking I wanted to be a psychology major; three and a half months later I’ve realized that it’s not right for me.

I have a goal to eventually open my own LGBTQ+ Youth Center to offer numerous services to help young people of that community. So, I figured that majoring in psychology will allow me council individuals and help them directly. Now that I’ve figured out psychology isn’t right for me, I then added in social work classes for my spring semester; with a degree in that it’ll be a guarantee that I can open my own center. At first I was excited that I added these classes in for next semester and I still am, but the more the fall semester progress the more I began to feel inevitably stuck.

I wasn’t creating anything for class because I was taking standard classes, such as math and science. I then began to think about the fact that I was going into a noncreative field and how I think that would impact me long term. I came to realize that I wouldn’t be happy working unless I was creating something, more specifically, writing daily. I am nothing without writing and it’s taken me five mental break downs and early life crisis’s to figure that out.

Yes I still want to open my LGBTQ+ Youth Center, but I can still do that with a degree in something that excites me. And although I still don’t know exactly what that major is, I’ve at least come to the conclusion about focusing on writing.

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Source: behappy.me

I know this was long and fairly confusing but I just wanted to share my jumbled thoughts. If you’re conflicted or confused about what you want to major in, I promise it’s okay. Everyone goes through it and I think that’s what we need to remind ourselves of. If you want to figure out what you should major in, ask yourself what you’re passionate about. Talk to a friend about your situation and maybe you’ll say something that will catch your attention and answer all your questions. It’s scary not knowing what you’re doing or where you’re going, but I know for a fact that one day we will all look back on our past and feel so accomplished and proud of how far we’ve made it.

Another thing I came to understand is that we are all worthy of a beautiful life. In our dark times, that is when it’s hardest to remember this. There are moments, like many days this past week, where I didn’t believe that I’ll ever have a life I love; I’m convinced I’m going to be miserable and always feel stuck forever. Even though it may feel like that right now, I know 100% that it won’t last forever. As much as everything hurts, I know I won’t always feel like this; one day I will look back on this pain and feel so proud that I overcame it.

No matter what we all go through we all deserve to live a life filled with love. Even if you don’t think you deserve to be happy, you do, I swear. I have moments where I’m convinced that I don’t deserve to be happy or to build the life I love, for whatever reason, but it’s just not true. I think that as long as you work hard and pursue your endeavors passionately, whatever they may be, then you will have the life you deserve. And you’ll feel damn proud because you earned it.

So, here’s to living a beautiful life.

Until next time,

Jupiter

My Italian Sister

This post is going to be a rather long one (but I tried to condense it to the best of my abilities) so if you want, go ahead and get some tea, maybe some popcorn and get cozy. I’ll give you a moment to get settled.

Okay, ready?

At the beginning of my sophomore year of high school (which seems like ages ago at this point as a freshman in college), I met my best friend/sister-from-another-mister, Debby. She was an exchange student all the way from northern Italy, who was studying abroad for a single school year. Long story short, we hit it off and have basically been family ever since; the words “best friend” aren’t strong enough to describe our bond accurately.

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Source: iutelecomgrad.wordpress.com

Come to the end of that school year, a drastic change occurred: she returned home to Italy. Debby was now six hours ahead of me and across a giant blue ocean. All along I knew that she would eventually have to leave but it never really sank in; it rather felt like a distant event that would occur years down the line.

Some of my most memorable moments from high school were shared with her. Going to prom for the first time. Seeing movies every weekend. Going to random school shows. Discovering new music. Countless shopping trips.

We bonded over our need to travel the world. I had never met someone who was just as passionate and wanderlust-filled as I was; I knew at this point that I had found my other half. Soon we began making plans to travel together. We mapped out all the countries we wished to visit together and planned to film our journeys along the way.

She had become my wing man. Any time I wanted to go out, I called her. She was my main squeeze (excuse the cliché teen slang). The thought of not having her right next to me every day, like she had been for the last few months, seemed so absurd; not being able to finish out high school with her was too much to handle.

It was early June and the day had come to say goodbye and I stepped into line with our friend at the time and waited for a hug from Debby. Her parents, who flew all the way to America to pick her up, waited patiently in the car as we all cried. We didn’t know when we’d see each other again and that’s what made it so hard. The memory of standing in the middle of the road with a tears soaked face while watching her drive off still burns so brightly in my mind, even almost three years later.

I think that this was the first time in my, then, 16 years that I realized that I truly loved someone. And although it isn’t a romantic love, it burns just as beautifully and powerfully.

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Source: Tumblr

Now, coming to the end of 2016, we have survived nearly three years of a long-distance friendship. Three years is a significant amount of time and yet it seems like just yesterday we were shopping for prom dresses and spending endless days consumed by the stress that was chemistry class. I cherish every picture we have together, even though we both agree that those pictures are not our prime fashion choices. We’ve both gone through bad friendships and romantic relationships but we always know that we have each other in the end. People have been in and out of our lives, with both of us sharing one experience, which led me to realize that we have a bond that cannot be broken. It started with us and it ends with us; no matter what gets thrown our way, we stick together because that’s what family does.

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Prom 2014

On December 16th Debby turned 20. It’s a milestone age, that I too will know in 2017; you’re no longer a teen but yet you don’t feel like an adult. I am so incredibly proud of how much she’s grown in the few years I’ve known her. I can’t wait to see what she does during this new phase of her life; I know that she’s going to do nothing but great things.

So thank you Debby for sticking by me through the craziness that is life. Here’s to the next three years and all the adventures that it’ll bring.

Love Always,

Jupiter

Finding Your Comfort.

Growing up, whenever I was upset, I would cuddle with my favorite stuffed cat named Kitty (I know such a clever name for a cat). I would squeeze him tight and sometimes cry into him. But as I got older, I began turning towards different things that brought me comfort; granted, Kitty is still the real MVP when I’m really upset.

Throughout middle school I gravitated towards quotes whether they were from a book or the internet. Once I got to high school, aka when life starts to get a little crazy, I began turning towards music. My music taste wasn’t as well round and developed as it is now, it mainly consisted of every pop song my local radio station played, but it still helped me in hard times. Around 17 my music preference changed drastically all thanks to my best friend Gabrielle; I went from obsessing over the Top 40 to loving and cherishing alternative bands.

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Photo by Sam San Roman

Even though I was focused heavily on music as my coping mechanism of sorts, I also wrote. When I was in elementary school, I wrote nonsense stories but as I got older I attempted to journal every now and then. I don’t have a whole lot from my high school years, since most of it I would much rather forget rather than relive through words. There were maybe one or two journals that I wrote in sporadically (which means I forgot that I had tried to commit to the whole journaling thing). Most of what I have is on my old computer that breathes as loud as a giant horse and is as big as a dinosaur.

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My not-always-trusty 2012 Toshiba

So, the point to me rambling on about all of this, is that I’ve always found comfort in words. When I lost my ambition to work towards my fairly large future goals, I looked at quotes. When I was in a dark place, music was there to give me a hug in a way. Writing down my experiences helped me be relieved of the pressures I felt. Words have always been such a fascination and appreciation of mine for as long as I can remember. Even if my whole life was in shambles, reading a book could make me feel sane again. Words were there when no one else was.

I believe it’s important for every single person to have one thing that brings them comfort. We all need something to stay sane and remind ourselves of who we are when the world seems like a bit too much. With that being said, we can also sometimes take these comfort mechanisms for granted and even neglect them. I’ve been to hell and back multiple times within the last two years and I never took the time to actually appreciate music or even document how I felt. We get so caught up in our minds and feel like there’s nothing that could help ease our pain that we forget what brings us comfort and safety.

From here on out, I am going to try and remind myself that words, whether they’re ones that I write or someone else, are my safety net. The thing that brings me solace. And I encourage you to do the same no matter what it is: drawing, singing, running, dancing, stretching, writing, reading or the many other things that exist in this beautiful world. There’s so many activities and things out there that are waiting for you to discover them and have them as your sense of comfort.

So here’s to finding our solace in this hectic world.

Until next time,

Jupiter

College Blues & Jumbled Thoughts

I’m sitting here at dinner feeling utterly defeated. If that feeling alone isn’t enough, I also know that it’s my fault. It’s 100% my fault that I have no friends. I haven’t put myself out there, I know that. But I also know that I’ve had many internal issues that needed to be addressed. At the same time, I blame myself for having these issues. Why did I let my mental health deteriorate so much for so long? Why did I neglect myself? My mental health has not been at its best, so I’ve been focusing all my energy on bettering it. If you don’t have good mental health, then everything else suffers. I need to save myself before encountering others.

So as I watch everyone else conquer the social world, I am an outside looking in. We’re all dealing with our own issues; I just don’t understand why I can’t deal with mine faster.

 

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Source: Pinterest

 

My whole life I told people that college was finally going to be the time that I start thriving. That this was a new chapter and it was going to be better than the last one. But college, right now, is starting to feel exactly like high school only I have no friends and don’t live at home.

I guess through all of this, I’m just disappointing myself. My whole life is in my hands and I’m letting it crumble before my eyes. I’m the one in control and I’m doing a shitty job at keeping it stable.

They say “don’t compare your chapter 3 to someone else’s chapter 9.” But I am comparing my chapter 3 to someone else’s chapter 3. I’m looking at people my age, whether they’re in college or not, in awe. Underneath it all, no one has it together, but despite that they’re still thriving. They’re still working their way towards their goals. They’re living in prime hubs with inspiration and opportunities around every corner. I don’t want to copy them, I don’t want their lives, I just want to be able to say that I’m movin’ on up towards my own goals.

My issue, I think, is that I don’t know where to start. I’ve felt stuck like this for quite some time and I’m tired of feeling this way; I decided to start this blog as a way to take a first step in putting my work out there.

 

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Source: scribblelive.com

 

As I sit here, holding myself back from continuing this jumbled mess, I have come to the realization that sometimes you have to jump. Though you may feel stuck, you have to do that one thing that makes you uncomfortable in order to make progress; you have to “jump” in a sense in order to keep moving. You must jump and just have faith that it’ll all turn out okay. Even if you can’t convince yourself of that, jump anyway. You may be blind momentarily, not knowing where you’re going, but soon the light will turn on and guide you. Even at low moments, like now, I still know that it’ll all eventually be okay.

I’ll leave you with this quote to hopefully instill some comfort in your soul (though it has become rather cliché):

 

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Source: Pinterest

 

So, here’s to jumping.

Until next time,

Jupiter

The End of the World

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Source: Tumblr

We’ve all had those moments of sheer panic. The moment you realize that you’ve left your interchangeable adapter plugs in your London hotel while you’re unpacking your bags in Paris. When your teacher announces that he wants the class to pass hard copies of their essays to the front of the room; meanwhile you had emailed it to him the night before. And then there are moments that are, and sometimes not, seemingly life altering.

When I was 16, my best friend, who was an exchange student, moved back to Italy.

When I was 18, I got denied from my dream school.

I have had many more moments through my 19 years that have caused anxiety and fear to run through my body but these are just a few of my most memorable ones that I have either witnessed or been through. Now, up until this point in my life, I have never really sat down, sipped some tea, and really thought about these events, whether big or small. I mean sure forgetting adaptor plugs was awful in the moment (this happened to my best friend Gabrielle while we were stumbling our way across Europe) but looking back on it in the scheme of things, it had no major effect on her life. The small moments of panic, where it seems the world is ending for a few minutes, most of the time make for a good story years later; if you’re lucky, one day you’ll even be able to see the humor in it.

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Remember that one time……

The larger moments, the ones that can define you if you let them, are much more complicated. When I got denied from my dream college, and all my other top choice schools, I felt like an utter failure. I cried for longer than I’d like to admit. I remember the feeling of immense pressure all around my body; I honestly thought the world was caving in around me. Since my whole plan for my future was suddenly turned upside down, I felt so lost; the feeling that came over me is unlike anything I’ve ever felt. My paths for my life that I had planned since I was in middle school were erased completely and I stood there in front of only a single path and it was one that I didn’t want to take. I was only 18 and I felt like my whole world was falling apart yet I hadn’t even begun to create it. I honestly thought that I would never overcome those feelings of confusion, sadness, and disappointment. I saw my world crumbling before my eyes and all I could do was watch in awe.

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Source: Tumblr

Now that I’ve told you one of my “end of the world” moments, I want you to think about one of yours. The one that stands out the most to you. No matter how painful it was, or still is, I want you to sit and think about. Think about how it made you feel and then remind yourself that you made it through that moment. You thought your whole life was over and you cried out of pain and even fear, but here you are today. Maybe you went through a bad breakup or got denied from your dream school or you moved across the country because your parents got transferred at their jobs. Whatever it is, you deserve to be proud of yourself because you survived. Even if you didn’t thrive for a while, you still survived and lived to tell the tale and that’s a beautiful thing.

If you’re still going through one of these times, I’m right there with you. And guess what? There’s a high chance that someone you know is having one of these panic induced moments and maybe you can find someone in your life to talk to about it; if not, you can comment down below and I’ll be here for you. Whether you’re trying to make an important decision or are adjusting to major changes, I promise you that your world is not ending. It may seem like it is, I know I feel that way, but you must trust me when I say that it’s not ending. You may be at the lowest point in your life so far; you may even surpass rock bottom. I believe that every single human can survive these moments. You must find one thing, just one. Find that one thing that brings you hope for the long term. It could be anything: a significant other, your dream career, your favorite hobby. Once you find that one thing, write about it. Draw it. Create a vision board. Tell your best friend or significant other. Find quotes that you relate to. Do anything you can to express that one ounce of hope so you can always remind yourself that it’s there.

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Source: Tumblr

Maybe as we get older we will all get better at handling these moments. Maybe after a certain age we learn how to not spiral into the “end of the world” crisis. Whether or not we learn how to properly handle these moments, the one thing we must learn is that right now is just the beginning. These scary moments are what shape us as people and our paths to our goals, as much as we might not want to admit it. Even if you don’t handle your rock bottom well to other people’s standards, you are learning in the process and that’s all that matters.

So here’s to beginnings. Here’s to learning. And here’s to surviving and thriving.

Until next time,

Jupiter