I know it’s been awhile and a lot has happened. I’ve only told a few of my closest friends what happened and my family of course. But I’m ready now to talk about it here.
A week ago, today my world was rocked. It felt like a typical Friday morning, and then I got the email. The email from school telling me “the result of your academic performance your academic standing is Failed, required to withdraw.” That is as far as I read before the tears started falling and it was in the first paragraph of a long email. Due to my average from first year being .5% off of what it needed to be AND because I didn’t do well on any of my final assignments, tests or write my one exam, I was done. I knew I was not performing at my fullest but that was the result of my concussion but I tried and thought it would be enough but I guess it wasn’t. I was required to withdraw from my studies for a minimum of two academic terms. The thought running through my head was “I’ve been kicked out”. My worst fear came true. FAILED. It said it right there in the email. It was my last straw, I completely broke down, to the point where it took my parents and my sister to help me calm down. That hasn’t happened in a very long time.
I lost the fight I’d been fighting since my first day of university. In my second year it took almost 2 months before I had the proper accommodations at school, that was October. The end of November my concussion happened. A concussion plus an anxiety disorder plus depression is NOT a good mix. I was suffering through a lot. Things I can’t even begin to describe. School told me I failed. But I knew deep down, I was not a failure. Sure, my marks told a different story, but I chose my health over my grades. That was the most important part.
Same day two hours later…what I thought I had figured out for the summer could no longer happen. Another blow, another hit, another let down. More crying even though I was sure there were none left after the whole school thing. Everything I thought was going to happen, wasn’t. My world turned upside down, again.
48 hours after I got the email from school, I withdrew from all 3 of my classes. I know I gave it my best shot while dealing with extenuating circumstances. I live with debilitating anxiety, every day. I live with depression, every day. If you have ever gone through either you know what it’s like. Never in my life did I have to verify my illness as often as I did over the last two years. I was exhausted of constantly needing doctors’ notes. University comes with its own pressure and anxiety, so I had to deal with that too. It was an uphill battle and I knew there would come a point when I’d have to make a huge decision. I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon.
48 hours after I got the email from school, this heavy awkward burden I had been carrying was gone. Sunday night, I was happy again. I found myself dancing and singing in my room as my music playing loudly while I put away clean laundry. My mom told me it was nice to see me happy again. I genuinely was happy again. I knew the choice to withdraw from my university classes was the best choice for me right now. So even though that email said “failed” I knew realistically I had won.
The best part of all of this chaos is that I haven’t felt any anxiety or an ounce of regret about my decision to take a break. I knew what was best for me and I trusted my gut. I like to think that I’m currently in a soul-searching phase. I mean I know what I want to do with my life, now I just need to keep working towards making that happen, in the way that best sets me up for success. I’m currently taking an online course through a local college and I’m enjoying it, A LOT. I’m doing things that I enjoy and I’m taking care of myself.
It can be a weird conversation when I tell people I’m taking a break from university. But that’s okay, I don’t mind explaining why I decided to take it. It’s a part of my story, a part of my journey. Will I go back in the fall? I don’t know yet but I have time to think about it. I’m only going to go back if I truly feel like it’s going to be a good fit. I’m shocked at how my daily anxiety level has decreased since I stopped. I wake up happy instead of anxious. I go to bed happy instead of anxious. This isn’t a cure for my anxiety but has definitely helped decreased the stress I’ve been under.
What is next for me? Right now, I don’t know but I know I’m taking better care of myself than I have in a couple years. I have an amazing support system behind me, who have done nothing but praise me for deciding to step back from something that wasn’t giving me what I needed at the time.
Life can be hard and it can through a million curve balls at you all at the same time. But I promise that you can make it out okay. I tried something and it wasn’t working out for me, some may consider it a failure but I see it as just another chapter that has come to an close in my life. Don’t be afraid of change, or walking away from something that is not helping you be the best version of yourself. Believe me I know it’s terrifying but sometimes the risks are worth the rewards.
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