I’m starting this blog for myself, not for anyone to read, but just for myself. It’s essentially a digital diary because I’m too lazy to write in a journal anymore. Anyway, it’s summer and I just finished my first year of college at Barnard about a month ago. This year was a rollercoaster to say the least. I experienced heartbreak and lonliness and disappointment and rejection. I experienced a crack in the bubble in which I had always lived, a glance into a world where there is discomfort and pain and the world is not always a safe, magical place. Of course, I experienced my fair share of harships before college. My dad had severe anger issues and threatened to leave our family forever on several occasions. My sister tried to kill herself and I still become tense every time I think about it. We moved from a house into an apartment into a smaller house. Yet, overall, my life was pretty great. I had more than a few friends who I could honestly talk to about anything in the world. My parents loved me and would do anything for me, despite their flaws. I had a great educations and lived in a small, friendly town. I’ll move onto college now. I went into college with sky rocketing expectations — I thought I was finally arriving at my peak, my time to shine in this world and to show everyone that I am above avaergae. I thought I’d make a million friends and join every club and excel in my classes. No one warned me that college isn’t just a walk through the park. It turns out that all of the smily, drunk snapchats and instagrams are sometimes fake; I learned this on my own. I didn’t put myself out there in college, I didn’t introduce myself to strangers or try to be extra friendly. And this really, really hurt me. I hung out with the group of people that my roommate had become friendly with, but I knew from the start that I didn’t like them very much, and therefore, they would be my temporary friends. I was still looking for my people. Weeks passed and my people were nowhere to be found. I began to lose hope, I called my mom everyday, with tears rushing down my face as I prayed that my roommate wouldn’t walk in to see me in this state. I tried to be close with my roommate, yet no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t connect with her. I couldn’t connect with any of her friends, either — my temporary friends. I was sinking down farther and farther into a pit of hopelessness when I matched with Daniel on Tinder. I went over to his place one night and for the first time since starting college, I felt relaxed. Finally, someone who was honest and real. I immediately wanted to know every detail about his life and to tell him every little secret of mine. I had an overwhelming urge to tell him my problems because I thought he could fix them. We had unforgettable sex and that is a huge deal. I had had sex before, but never like that. With Daniel, I actually enjoyed the sex — for the first time ever. Over the next few weeks, Daniel and I texted and hung out several times a week. We shared stories and laughs and went to parties and cuddled in his bed. I felt euphoria and relief in a way that I never believed was possible, much less that it could be found in a guy. I couldn’t think about anything without thinking about Daniel; I had only known him a few weeks but I already had an intense passion, maybe obsession, with him. This went on for a while, and then he started distancing himself from me. Eventually he told me that he wanted to be independent this year, not to be tied down by anything. I appreciated his honesty but it pained me nonetheless. We continued to hook up occasionally, as my feelings for him become only more intense. Winter break came and I had a blast with my friends from home. I dreaded returning to school, but my sparse, flirtatious conversations with Daniel made me at least a little bit excited. Everything turned to shit in a single week. I went to a bar with a guy a knew from a club and saw Daniel, for the first time since last semester, as soon as I walked in. Already drunk, I nervously yet excitedly walked over to him. We hugged, but he was cold to me. There was another girl standing next to him. We talked for a bit and then parted ways — I felt confused. Later in the night, I saw him sitting at a table with some girls, so in my drunk state of mind I decided to go over to him. It all feels like a blur from there, but basically some girl, who I had never met, started being mean and telling me to leave. Daniel did nothing. I sent a series of harsh and confrontational texts to him. Then I left with the guy who had come to the bar with me and went to his room, where we hooked up. Daniel never answered my texts. The following weekend, I was rejected from every sorority and the guy I had slept with told me that he couldn’t hook up with me again; he, too, needed his independence apparently. This series of events left me feeling more devastated and alone than I had ever felt in my life. I felt detached from myself, every feeling was intensely painful yet strangely distant. I felt a spiral of deep emotions at the same time that I felt nothing at all. I thought I had reached a point of no return. Yet, slowly — very, very slowly — things got better. In retrospect, its very important for me to acknowledge that my life didn’t magically improve, it improved because I made changes to my life. After avoiding the library for weeks in fear that I would run into Daniel there, I decided that I couldn’t live my life in fear of running into someone. So I started going to the library again, and yes, I ran into him every time. I won’t pretend like it wasn’t the most awful and awkward experience ever, because it was. But I did it anyway. I also began to get more involved in my clubs — I started writing for the Columbia Political Union and I made sure to go to every Roosevelt Institute meeting. I was doing well in school and I was beginning to bond more with Taylor and Cybele. I also became closer with a girl named Sarah, who, strangely enough, also became friends with Daniel at this time. This was a weird situation for all of us, but we dealt with it. Taylor, Cybele, and I started going out to bars more and I started hooking up with more guys. I liked getting attention — it was something I hadn’t been used to coming from a small town and it was something that immensely boosted my confidence. I started to feel good about myself, for the first time in a very, very long time. Daniel eventually apologized to me, and believe it or not but it was a very genuine and mature apology, so I forgave him. We became friends. A few months later Daniel and I hooked up and it was wonderful and nostalgic, but then three days later he got back together with a girl he had been dating after our falling out. This crushed me and made me feel like I had taken ten immense steps forward in my life only to rapidly fall a million steps back. My friends never ceased to tell me what an awful and terrible person Daniel was, yet, for some reason, I always defended him. I had this gnawing feeling that despite all the pain he had put me through, he really did mean well. He apologized to me, again, and we went back to being friends, though very awkward friends. I met another guy through Tinder, Martin, and we had a great time together. The only problem was that he went to school in Texas and only came to New York every few weeks, so we hung out whenever he was around. This was fun and he lavished me with nice dinners and beautiful apartments, yet the passion that I had felt for Daniel was missing. Throughout all of this, I did some serious self-reflection and reevaluating on everything in my life. I felt like I had matured because of everything I had endured that year and I felt like there was no longer any hardship that I couldn’t move past. It was an invigorating feeling to feel at once both confident and resilient — I was, perhaps, happy. The end of the year got even better. I became friends with a friend of both Sarah and Daniel’s — a guy I had heard a lot about, both good and bad, but had never known. His name was Elias and he was an interesting guy. I started sitting at his table during finals season with another guy named Hamza, who was from Morocco. I began sitting with them for the simple reason that I couldn’t find anywhere else in the library to sit, but I soon discovered that finding them was one of the best things to have happened to me all year. We sat at our table in the library all day, everyday for the week and a half leading up to finals. Though we all studied intently, we also spent a lot of time talking and debating and getting to know each other. These were people who I had never in a million years imagined I’d be friends with, yet I felt more comfortable and happy with them than I had ever felt with my “friend group” at school. One day, after debating the morality of politicians, Elias told me that he thought I had made him a better person. This was by far the best compliment I had ever received. Not to mention, as econ majors, both Elias and Hamza helped me study for my econ final, which I ended up getting a 98% on. Hamza also helped me write my final French composition, as he speaks French fluently. Meeting Hamza and Elias seems like such a tiny detail, yet it felt like an enormous milestone in my life. Daniel and I started flirting again, as well, though we never hooked up again. For the first time all year, I was actually sad to be leaving school. But then it got even better — the last weekend before the end of school, I went to a bar with Taylor and Cybele and I met a guy named Seth. We talked for a while and then started making out. I knew I needed a good night’s sleep in order to wake up early and study, but I decided to go back to his room with him anyway. We had sex and I slept over and it was great. I didn’t see him again, but we started texting the next day, and now, 8 weeks later, we still text everyday. I’m not sure if I can say I really know him, as we’ve really only met once, but the Seth I know over text is a guy I like a lot. I’m feeling hopeful that we’ll keep our conversation going and it will lead to something, maybe a relationship, though I don’t want to get my hopes up. My summer is going well. I’m interning in the Outreach Department in the Office of the NYC Public Advocate — the second highest elected official in NYC, right after the Mayor. Though the work I do is by no means stimulating or impactful, I’m still enjoying the job. I really like the people in my office and I’ve become good friends with the other intern. Plus, I feel so grown up and official commuting into work everyday in my business casual clothing and then using my government ID to get into City Hall, where I work. PLUS — when you thought it couldn’t get any better — it’s a paid internship! I really hit the jackpot, as my mom would say. Of course, however, there is a bad part of my summer, and that bad part is that I’m always excluded from the Amelia, Maddie, Georgia clique. I spent all of high school trying to be included, but I’ve given up; it is not worth my time. And none of them have reached out to me at all, so I guess they were never good friends after all. I wish it didn’t bother me so much, but I still feel pained when I’m sitting alone at home and I see pictures all over social media of them hanging out. The worst part is that the thought of inviting me has never even crossed their minds, they have no idea that they’re being exclusive. It’s okay though, because I’ve been spending a lot of time with Maya and Liza, both of whom I actually like a lot. They’re genuine friends and that’s really all that matters. Sometimes I feel lonely, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. I’m starting to realize that quality in friends is far more important than quantity. So, in conclusion, I’m okay. My life is okay and it’s going to be okay. I’m happier and better than I’ve been in so long and that right there is an incredible thing. You know what? I’m not just okay, I’m so lucky to live the life I live and I am fantastic. I am maybe one of the most fortunate and happy people in the world right now and I know it won’t last but I will always get back to this state, I know I will.

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