Today is the first day of my leave of absence from New College of Florida. A little introduction: I was a 2nd year who started to feel stuck, depressed, and hopeless and needed a large change to regain control. Back then (Fall 2016), I thought I couldn’t be happy there and thought college wasn’t right for me. I realize now that the thought that I couldn’t be happy led me to not even try. I wouldn’t exercise, I didn’t try to meet new people, and I never looked at what I could be grateful for. Every day I would wake up and go over to my two best friends’ dorm, whom I secretly despised, and play video games until very late at night, then wake up the next day and do that same thing. No wonder I felt stuck! I don’t mean to sound like I hate myself for my negative thought process or that I regret that period of my life. I believe that I tried my best but didn’t have the right tools to succeed, and that time in my life led to me to the tools I have today which has made me happier.
So that’s what this journal/blog is for. To help people if anyone reads, or to help myself if I start to feel stuck and depressed again in the future. Perhaps also to look back so I can be proud of myself for making this change. As someone who was badly depressed in high school, I know I don’t want to feel that way again, and I know with hard work and the right tools I can and will succeed. That’s really the key to recovering: having faith in yourself and in your strategies.
Let’s talk about my current strategies: I use self-taught behavioral therapy techniques and tools like MoodGym. I make a chart every month to record and teach myself good habits, which is based off of Gretchen Rubin’s here: http://gretchenrubin.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Resolution-Chart-PDF.pdf I write in an achievement journal in which I record something new and scary I do every day. The past month at college has been full of them, even if I didn’t write them down every day! Lastly, I make a general effort to allow myself to be in the present and feel, even if it doesn’t always feel good.
There’s also some stuff I would like to do in the future. I have been watching this show on Netflix called No Tomorrow in which one of the characters, Xavier, and eventually the main character, Evie, make an Apocalyst, a bucket list which only lasts 8 months, the supposed end of the world. I would like to do something similar, a bucket list for 1 year. I think I will start writing a couple right after finishing this. Since I am in NYC for a month before going off to Arizona to volunteer, I would also like to get more involved in the city this month through volunteering and just going places.
As for how it felt leaving school today, it was weird. I wasn’t sure I was ready, but you can’t be completely ready I guess. Coming home was a bit of a bummer because it was dark outside early and there isn’t much to do. I’m determined but nervous about doing things around NYC more.
In conclusion, this journal is about my journey to becoming a happier, healthier, and more positive person. I hope you can join me, and I hope I can work hard enough to become the person I want to be.
Thanks for reading,