High highs, low lows and finding solace in the middle

At first, the best part of being in college was that you could have both the worst day and the greatest night imaginable within the span of 48 hours. As time goes on, however, the idea of enduring that exact chain of events every single weekend for four years can become a little repetitive.  

Having encountered some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life since arriving at Boston University, this constant oscillation between good and bad moments is starting to overwhelm me. I need a middle ground to reveal itself immediately.

Yvonne Tang / DFP Staff

Since returning to campus from winter break, I have tried to coax this stable center out of hiding, but success has been elusive so far. Due to a near cataclysmic collision of personal issues, the past few weeks have been a true test of my productivity and emotional strength, leaving me feeling quite lost at times. With a full semester under my belt, I had hoped that I would be better adjusted by now. Why does everything still feel so intense?

I took this past weekend to really think about what my next step forward should be and I came to the conclusion that I cannot let my time in Boston be defined by these moments of acute satisfaction and distress. It would not be wise to give up and tell myself that my college years will always be marked by extreme fluctuations between good and bad times, for I know that some balance between the two has to exist. In order to bring that balance to fruition, I understand there are certain measures I have to take, however challenging that might be.

Throughout my first semester at BU, I was able to distract myself from any feelings of sorrow by leaning hard into things that made me feel joy — whether that was attending a concert or going to the movies with a friend. Although I felt like I was finally living the life I wanted to live in these instances, I would feel pessimistic the second they were over, for I had misguidedly pinned all my hopes of contentment squarely on these great affairs. I realize now that I am only hurting myself by setting impossible standards of self-gratification, and I should pursue less drastic avenues of cultivating happiness from here on out.

Maybe some of the other efforts I have taken to stabilize my well-being have not been the healthiest either. I often devote myself to certain people in the hopes that the solace I find in them will subdue my harshest feelings, but quite commonly, this backfires and I am left feeling unhappy. When that happens, I often feel like it is my fault that I wasn’t worthy of their attention or love. 

But an important step in my road to self-improvement is being kinder to myself about the people I choose to invest my time and energy into. It will be difficult to cut people out of my life who are ultimately detrimental to it, but if I cannot love myself first, I won’t be able to accept the love from people who genuinely care about me. 

In time, I am sure I will find peace with how I go about my life at BU. I have to keep reminding myself that it is relatively early in my college career, and that these strong feelings I have won’t last forever. Coming to terms with this will take a lot of work on my behalf, and I know it will require me to make some hard choices about who and what I surround myself with, but I have faith that I am on the right track. I am excited to see what my college experience will be like once I find comfort on a daily basis. At the end of the day, it gives me something to look forward to, and I can’t wait to embrace all that comes my way. 

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