School was always super important to me. My family - especially my grandfather - had drilled it into my head that in order to succeed in life, I needed to succeed academically, first.
So that's exactly what I did. Although high school was kind of rocky for me, I excelled at the courses I loved; and when CEGEP rolled around, I was a superstar. Seriously guys. Sure, my first semester was a disaster, but I pulled myself up, dusted myself off, raised my R score exponentially, and even made it onto the Honour Roll.
I was super proud of how I was doing academically, and by the time it came to pick a university, it was a no-brainer for me. I'd go to the school I felt most comfortable at (Concordia), study the subject I loved the most (History), pass with flying colours, and be so happy forever.
Except that's exactly what didn't happen.
To put it bluntly, my last semester at Vanier was stressful AF. Other than the stereotypical future doubts and fears that tend to creep up on you when completing a life chapter, I was also hospitalized (I legit almost died, you guys). Utterly exhausted, needless to say, I had reached the bumpy - albeit satisfying - end of my CEGEP journey.
Then, as planned, I got in to Concordia, studying History - two things which I seriously don't regret. And while Concordia's the best, and History will always be my favourite subject in the world to explore, I definitely think I leapt too quickly into that university life.
What I really wanted to do was take a break. I was super drained, anxious, and simply not ready at the time for the many curve balls uni life would inevitably throw at me. In hindsight, I should've taken some extra time to recharge... But then I was also like, "Eh, fuck it, I'll be fine."
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Skipping a lot of the stuff that happened in-between - like family deaths that would profoundly influence my whole life, losing all of my motivation and then getting it back, and other fun stuff - I finally came to the realization that maybe I wasn't as fine as I thought I was, actually.
In fact, by the time my last semester rolled around, I was pretty much a wreck.
There was never a moment when I didn't feel like crying, or when I didn't feel anxious or stressed or totally lost. I was snapping at people and totally ignoring my health, and falling into the exact same pattern that landed me in the hospital just a handful of years before.
So, when an opportunity to put my university career on hold presented itself, I jumped at the chance. And I haven't looked back since.
Right now, I'm feeling a lot better. I actually have the time and the motivation to take care of myself again; I'm no longer staying up all night for no reason, constantly worried that I'll lose everything I worked so hard for. Besides, in a way that already happened... and, honestly, it's really not so bad.
Thankfully, my parents supported my decision. Some people don't, but it's cool. At the end of the day, I knew that sticking it out wasn't a good option for me. In life, sometimes you just gotta do you.
Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely going to go back and finish what I started. Except this time, when I do, I'll be in a much better place - and it'll be because I'm ready to.