Posted in Stuff No One Talks About

What No One Tells You after a Suicide Attempt

When the school counselor calls the police to escort you off the premises to be Baker Acted for a suicide attempt the night before and asks you, before they come, if you hate her, be honest. Don’t let fear strip you of your humanity just yet because months later, when you’re out, you’ll see that she was just doing her job—caring about the students she encountered—and you’ll have no regrets of telling her you hated her because you didn’t, though you could’ve and that would have been justified, but you don’t hate her. Could never hate her. You’re better than that.

When the cold fire of metal handcuffs encircle your wrists, even loosely, you’ll believe, for a second, that you are a criminal. You are not safe. You’re a danger to yourself and these metal rings around your wrists prove it.

When they stip you of your personhood, you have no right to fight back. No strength to wrestle them for it. No one is expecting you to act like a human being because once you’re with them, inside their hospital, or “mental care facility,” (a fancy phrase for “psych ward”) you’re not human anymore.

You will cry your first day/night there. No exceptions. Don’t try to be brave or emotionless. Just cry because you can’t get out until they say you’re free to go.

You will see things and meet people you will never forget. Some things you wish you could never remember, some people you wish you could laugh with one last time.

There’s nothing more satisfying than that first day out and the sun beams down on you, claiming you like a lost child. Smile and bask in its warmth.

When you return to your “normal” life as a college student, you will have a hell of a time trying to adjust back to life as you knew it.

When your alarm goes off, alerting you that you have class, and you panic because you think you’re late for group therapy in the psych ward, only to remember that they discharged you two days prior, don’t freak out. You’re not crazy, you’re just adjusting to a new schedule.

Sometimes, you’ll regret not jumping off the roof. When moments like those come—and they will come—remind yourself what’s important, beautiful, and meaningful. You’ll find your way back home.

Posted in Stuff No One Talks About

Just a Number (A Tribute to UCF)

Everywhere I go,
a multitude of students surrounds me
in an ocean of academic chaos.
I observe them in silence.
Some are consistently obnoxious,
like an alarm that goes off at six
that tempts me to smash it with aggressive fists.

Some scurry along,
while others choose to saunter to class.
Blatant, their attitudes scream,
“Look at me! I’m the epitome of coolness!”
Oh, how I’d like to push them
into the Reflection Pond at dawn.

In between classes, bustling bodies bombard each other.
They are war cannons competing for the danger zone
while I’m stuck in the masses, wailing for freedom.
My eyes glaze over torn designer apparel
wrapped in ever-decaying, deceiving human flesh.

Hoping for a sincere smile from a slick stranger
whose kindness is stronger than my reoccurring fears,
apparently, is the wrong way to make lasting acquaintances.

Here, I am not myself.
I am but one student among sixty thousand.
Impersonal transfer student with a junior status
trying to obtain a degree with my sanity still intact.

The largeness of this beloved higher institution
threatens to derange me.
Survival is a must in this Hunger Game of academia.

So, as I take notes, complete homework assignments,
and shove my way through the sweaty bodies
of my fellow student-numbers, I can only hope
that the “odds are ever in my favor,”
as I strive to become more than just “2987186”.

Posted in Stuff No One Talks About

In Light of Past Acheivements…

It has been exactly 1 year, 9 months, and 20 days since I graduated from the University of Central Florida, said goodbye to my fellow Knights, and got thrust into the land of no sleep, mental breakdowns, existential crises, and low-paying jobs otherwise known as Adulthood.  The cap I graciously and excitedly threw into the air, alongside my fellow graduates, now lays atop my dresser covered in dust bunnies.  And the diploma that bears my name, which reminds me that I achieved what I previously thought impossible, also lets me know that my blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention my $40K loans) were all for nothing because I, like many in my generation, don’t have the money I need that would prove that it was all worthwhile.

Now, before you scream at me that I shouldn’t have followed my passion and should have, instead, done the sensible thing like getting a STEM  degree because I’m not entitled a job after graduation, or tell me that the American dream of “work hard and you can obtain your dreams” actually still works in 2017, or perhaps suggest trade school, let me finish. I’m not done.

Throughout my collegiate career, specifically, my senior year, even though I was under immense pressure to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life, which caused a shit ton of anxiety and even panic attacks, I gained strength and courage that I hadn’t previously known. I learned that I could do the seemingly impossible (graduate college) and as I reflect on my last year, I am reminded of that strength and the most important thing I learned about myself: I am capable.