So tell me how are you now;

Now that everything’s different.

Now that you left and I’m still standing here.

How is it being away?

Are you having fun?

Do you miss me?

I don’t know what to say to you.

I want to be honest but I can’t tell the truth.

We both know that.

Tell me, do you look at our letters and read them every now and then?

Or are they stashed away, hidden from your mind.

You look so different.

It’s like we met years ago, as two different souls.

Do you remember how I hated surprises?

Surprise me and tell me you do.

How does it feel?

Being with her?

Does it feel different than how we were?

I know I left you before you left me.

But I never really left you.

We’re the type of people that are supposed to end up together.

You said that, not me.

But those words are probably stashed away.

Like the memories you and I made.

It’s okay, really, I’m fine.

So tell me, how are you now?

Locked In

“I thought how unpleasant it was to be locked out, and I thought how it is worse perhaps to be locked in.”

That is a quote from Virginia Woolf’s, A Room of One’s Own. I however did not find it there, I read it from a suicide letter written by Madison Holleran, a student and track runner from University of Pennsylvania who jumped to her death January 17th, 2014.

I found the article on Facebook, one of my friends shared the article titled Mental health issues a huge challenge for NCAA in regard to student-athletes. I couldn’t tear my eyes off the article because I found myself relating to Madison more than I thought possible. I felt for her and all the other athletes or just students that suffer every day with mental disorders like depression, anorexia, bulimia, and so many more. Students and student-athletes are expected to amaze in college. You are expected to go to class, eat 3 meals a day, be engaged in all your courses, go to practice, meet people, pass all your tests, and still have a social life. I have never met anyone at my school that has succeeded in all of that, because it’s impossible. Taking more responsibility on as you go through school, totally understandable. But forcing yourself to be the best at everything is just unrealistic. You are setting yourself up for failure.

I am incredibly lucky to have a great coaching staff and friends around me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have struggles. It’s hard to do well in class, while working out and practicing everyday, it’s really hard. Then, lets add-on the fact that with working out comes weight gain. I don’t know about anyone else but as much as I enjoy volleyball and my team, sometimes the hardest thing for me to do is bite the bullet and step on that fucking scale. It’s scary. I haven’t self-harmed in years and it’s hard, I can’t imagine how people who are actively struggling with eating disorders can handle that.

Sidenote: I am so over people saying “wow you don’t look like you would/did/can have an eating disorder/be depressed”

OK. So why don’t you explain to me what eating disorders and depression look like since you clearly have WAY more experience with it than me. If a friend ever confides in you, do not, I repeat do not say that.

But back to what I was saying about Madison. There is so much pressure put on students, and even more so on athletes. Once you start college you have to make a few very important decisions and it roughly comes down to this, what do you want? Do you want to make a lot of friends? Do you want to get good grades? Do you want to sleep for 8 hours every night (good luck)? Do you want to stay sane? You can’t have everything and I think it is extremely hard to figure out what you want/need in your life.

I’m not perfect, and I’m taking things one step at a time. Some days it’s hard to stay sane when I’m feeling like I physically and mentally cannot keep up with everything that is going on, but I have to believe I can. Even if that means I have to step away from things that I love to give myself space to breath, I’ll do it. The idea that student-athletes have to be at their best every single day is not only unfair, but hurtful to their mental stability. I like volleyball, I like school, and I like having my friends, but I will always choose my health over any of those things.

If you’re feeling “locked in”, talk to someone. I wish I would have in high school, I wish I would have asked for help directly. It’s easy to tell yourself that you’re fine and that what you’re feeling isn’t a big deal. But your feelings are always valid, don’t let anyone, whether it be coaches, parents, friends or teachers tell you that what you’re feeling isn’t important, because it is. You are incredibly important and your feelings matter. Don’t try to shove them aside, because shoving the problems aside doesn’t make you stronger. All it does is slowly break you down. Being broken isn’t pretty or romantic, it’s terrible and dangerous. You don’t have to be locked in anymore.

Sometimes, I wonder what would have happened if my life was cut short like Madison’s. I don’t know what my family would be like with me gone, or my friends, or even people who I rarely spoke to. But with all the confidence in the world I can say Madison’s death affected people all over. I never knew her, but in a crazy way I feel like I did. I hope that wherever she is, she is happy and no longer feels locked in.

Suicide Prevention Hotline– 1 (800) 273-8255

How to Survive College Without Losing Your Mind 101

College can be stressful. Scratch that, college is one of the most stressful things you will go through. Sure, it has times of fun and not caring about what comes next, but if I had to guess the majority of the time you’re stressing about what you want to do, who you want to be, and trying to finish all your homework without having an anxiety attack. So I’ve come up with a few tips on how to get through college with good grades and your sanity in tact.

1. Major in something you genuinely like 

I’m amazed when people tell me they absolutely hate what they are majoring in. My first question for them is “why?” I get the whole wanting to make a lot of money idea but if you’re going to college you don’t love, you’re setting yourself up for failure. I’m sure my parents would have loved to have me to major in chemistry, engineering, or anything that would certainly make me more than my english major will, but it’s not about them. I am going to college for me, not for my parents. You give what you get in education, if you’re only giving half your effort because you aren’t very interested in the topics being presented, you’re only going to get half of the benefit (maybe less, college is hard). Major in things you like, better yet, love.

2. Plan, plan, plan

If you don’t have some sort of a planner, HOW. Please explain to me how you are surviving, because if I didn’t have my Passion Planner, I would be a hot mess. Now, if you don’t plan out your day in 30 minute increments like me, that’s fine. I understand how that can be a little too much to some but having a place to write down assignments due and meetings with teachers is a must. I can’t tell you how many times I have been saved by my planner late night on a Sunday. If a planner isn’t for you, use some colorful post it notes and write assignments/important date then put them on your door or mirror so you’re forced to see them!

3. Don’t cheat

Cheating is college is pointless, I mean really? Getting good grades is important but you’re honestly just cheating yourself out of a good education. Take some extra time to study and really let the information sink in. You might not get straight A’s (if you do props), but really understanding the information is more important in the long run.

4. Get involved

College is great for your education, but it isn’t just about school. You have great opportunities to be social and make a difference! I’m part of my school’s volleyball team, a sister in Chi Omega fraternity, and I write for Her Campus Oregon State. While I may be busy, and will only be getting busier over the next few years, I love it. I have so many different aspects going on in my college life and having a lot of different things going is keeping my sanity. I can only be with one group of friends for so long without going crazy, and I know I’m not the only one that feels that way. College is a time where you are able to have SO much going on in your life… try new things, branch out. The worst thing is thinking to yourself years later, “Wow I wish I would have tried this out in college”.

5. Take a break

Being away from family is hard for me. Even though I’m only a few hours away from home I still miss my family, friends, and mostly my bed. It is 100% ok to ask for help when you need it. Don’t hesitate to call your parents or your best friend if you’re going through a tough time. The worst thing you can do is put so much pressure on yourself and hold it in for so long that you eventually explode and burn out. Don’t let the pressure build up, instead reach out when you are starting to feel like things are getting hard. Drive home for the weekend and clear your head, Skype with your parents, see if a friend can visit you for the day, hell just grab some ice cream and watch a movie! It’s ok not to always be on, no one can be perfect all the time. While college is a time for new experiences and to take chances, it doesn’t mean you aren’t human. Everyone needs to take a break, trust me, it’s normal and it’s OK.

I hope these tips will be beneficial for you and let me know if you have any helpful tips for college. Stay sane everyone, only a few more months until summer!

And if you’re lucky enough to find someone that puts up with you, even at your worst, hold them close and don’t let them go. Soul mates aren’t always the people you date or even marry, sometimes, if you’re really really lucky. They are your best friend.

I loved you

Oh I don’t know. I guess I just wanted to be in love. I wanted to believe that when someone says they are in love with you, they mean it. I thought that when you make a commitment to someone you do anything to make it work. I thought changing myself for him would make him stay in love with me, but it didn’t. It still ended and all I ended up with was a broken heart in a body I no longer could recognize.

Black Coffee

I think there’s something to be said about people who like black coffee.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my vanilla frappuccino from Starbucks just like any other born and raised Seattle person but black coffee.

The bitterness and bite it has on a dewy morning, the shot of adrenaline you feel pumping through your veins on nights you don’t want to sleep. The taste of someone’s lips after they have a cup is intoxicating. Maybe it’s just me but I love it. How can you not? If awareness had a taste it would be black coffee.

Black coffee taste like heartbreak, the sharp pain you feel when it’s over & the bright future when you understand that it had to happen and you have so much more to look forward too, so much to be done.

My favorite though is watching people drink black coffee for the first time. It’s like watching someone take their first sip of alcohol. You can tell by their face that it’s the first time, and instantly they hate it but they want more.

I like people who drink black coffee because they are able to deal with the bitterness and I need someone like that. I need someone that will be able to deal with the sharp pain I will inevitably bring to them. I need someone that will keep wanting more of me because they aren’t afraid of what will happen next. I need someone that is intoxicated with me. I need someone to be with me and feel adrenaline pumping through their veins. I need someone to see a bright future with me.
I need someone to need me.