When they say “it gets greater later,” believe me when I say that it truly does. I have always been the type of student who loved school. One time, I even went to summer school just for fun. Freshmen year, I was excited about college. I had my classes and their locations down, I had my school supplies, my dorm was well decorated, and I even had some new outfits. I was ready physically, but mentally I was weak and emotionally I was drained. On top of adjusting to a new city, a new school, being the only Black girl in most of my classes, and having to make new friends, I was also very sad. I was going through a break up after a 3-year long relationship and in addition, my 2 best friends, one whom I have been friends with since the 3rd grade, both turned their backs on me after I moved away. I was very hurt and began doing one of the worst things I could ever do, question my worth. I thought how could the people who say they love me treat me this way? I would always think that they did not know what love was, but maybe it was me who needed to understand, so I wrote it down:
Journal Entry: December 2nd, 2017
Love: unselfish, loyal, and benevolent; concern for the good of another, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Now that I have briefly explained what love is, let me explain what love is not. Love is not disrespectful. Love is not rude. Love is not dishonest. Love is not infidelity. Love is not selfish. Love is not abandoning. Love is not untrustworthy. Love is not ambiguous. Love is not unsupportive. Love is not sex. Love is not an attraction. Love is not infatuation. Love is not a weakness. Love is not exclusive. Love is not frivolous. Love is not a dream, nor is it a fairytale. Love is not approved. Love is not effortless. Love is not self-sustainable. Love is not taking one for granted. Love is not using one for your own satisfaction or benefit. Love is not fake. For 1st Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) states that: Love is patient, love is kind. it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love is real, very real. Love isn’t something you say without knowing the background of the word nor the meaning. Lastly, realize that people can hurt you and so be it, but never let anyone alter your love or take away your joy for they weren’t the ones who gave it to you, to begin with.
I encourage other women to define what love means to them because ever since I did, I set the foundation. I set the standard not just for others, but for myself as well. I know what to expect and I know what to give. Most importantly, I know how to love myself. This is the knowledge that I will forever take with me because I can look back at my past to move forward in my future.
While I was experiencing my struggle, here are some lessons I learned:
Fast forward to today, I am in the second semester of my junior year and I have done an entire 360 since my freshman year of college. For starters, I have an amazing and solid group of friends. I earned my highest semester GPA this past semester. I retook the class that I failed freshman year and earned a B+, I am apart of two performing arts ensembles and four leadership organizations. This past summer, while I was a camp counselor, I realized that I have a passion for children. Currently, I am a research assistant in early childhood development. Lastly, I am a contestant in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Miss Black & Gold Scholarship Competition. I went from being the girl who would trap herself in her dorm to escape reality to the girl who willingly steps out of her comfort zone to create new opportunities and make memories. There is life after the struggle.