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At the beginning of the semester, I thought I had my entire life together and that my skills as a writer would become amplified by taking this course. In all honesty, the main thing that I have learned from this course is that I am a decent writer when I spend the proper amount of time to write and critic my essays thoroughly. Before I took this course, I had previously spent a lot of time engaging in the humanities, through a highly critical thought process that came from my nature to question everything and a lot of influence from my interest and ability to engage in philosophy.
As a writer, I have learned that the more time you spend engaging with the subject, you can formulate a much more in-depth critic of opinions and propose counter-arguments to just about anything if the argument is logical and lacks any logical fallacies. As a person, I have learned so much more about myself this semester than I could have ever possibly imagined.
Going into the Spring semester, I had completed 47 college credit hours while maintaining a 3.5 GPA, being an Honors Program student, volunteering in the pathology and microbiology lab at Gulf Coast Medical Center, and completing my last semester of high school. The previous semester I took 18 college credit hours and two online classes for high school while achieving grades of an A in all of them. As I had no previous troubles with college course work in general, even being diagnosed with ADHD, I decided to fulfill the rest of the required classes I needed to graduate FSW with an A.
A. and high school at the same time. I took it one step further and took on an extra two classes with one of them being an ungraduated research course with just me and Dr. Pritchett to study graduate level coursework for my philosophy major. I was excited for this semester, and even though I had to get a Dean override to take 19 credit hours, I thought it would be easy just like my previous semester, even though most of my friends and family thought I was crazy for doing it.
My reading, writing, and analyzing skills felt so natural and advanced to me going into the Spring semester. Previously, I have necessarily never had to study for any of my courses, for most of my entire academic life. I grew into a much more intelligent and critical thinker from the Fall semester and thought I could accomplish anything as I had not struggled previously in school for most of my life. The Spring semester has taught me some very eye-opening lessons for me to learn from than any other time in my entire life. In a mere matter of four months, I went from being a complete over accomplisher, in all most ever aspect of my life into a more realistic person. Understanding that I truly do have a physical and mental limit before I reach a complete nervous breakdown, that almost destroyed my entire personality and nearly my entire self-image of who I am.
I learned that it is nearly impossible to work forty hours a week at a job while going to college and taking seven courses at the same time. I reached a full mental breaking point around the time of my 18th birthday in March and lost my identity of who I even was anymore. I suddenly started to experience panic-like anxiety for the first time in my life. Which reached a breaking point at the very end of March, when I went in to see my doctor for my appointment to refill my prescription for Adderall. As soon my doctor walked into my room and saw the state that I was in; I knew I had overextended myself by trying to accomplish too much at such a young age. I did not even realize that I was an overachieving person who never feels a sense of accomplishment because I have always felt my entire life that everything comes easily to me. Maybe it is because I put in the effort it requires to perform well in academics, work, and have a well-established social life, and even a relationship that was once healthy.
I realized for the first time in my life that I could destroy my entire career and create lifelong physical and mental health issues that completely impair me from functioning normally. I created so much anxiety for myself that it caused me to have panic attacks in situations where I once loved to be in, like public speaking for example. The anxiety had become so debilitating that I could not even utter a single word for any of my speeches in my Introduction to Public Speaking class. My impulsivity had skyrocketed to the point where I would spend hours at random stores, spending nearly two thousand dollars a week throughout March and most of the month of April. I have learned that when I am under high levels of stress, I tend to be completely impulsive in almost every aspect of my daily life. I had to learn for the first time in my life that I may not only have ADHD but actual severe mental health issues and that I need to take control of them before they could control me.
In general, I always seem to be in a good mood, but always withholding emotions as I have never actually learned a good way to express them which has caused problems in relationships in my life. I spent weeks with psychologists, psychiatrists, and primary care physicians, undergoing multiple tests and finally came to the conclusion that I have Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Attack Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Atypical Depression Disorder. But, if I had never extended myself to the point where I had gotten to; I would have never been able to take my mental health seriously, and I could have ended up destroying my life later. For most people, having so such much psychological impairment would hinder them from ever having a normal life. For myself, I have learned that if I take charge of my mental health, I can overcome any disorder and never let the disorder control my life in any way. No matter what, I just pick myself up and out of a bad situation and move on to the next day and never let myself feel like I am not able to function like I once used too. I am learning who I truly am as a person and learning that I have accomplished a lot of things at my age that most have not been able to have the ability too, has brought me peace.
Even at the very end of this semester where I just recently had to Baker Act my boyfriend along with the support of his parents for his major suicidal depression, having tried multiple times to kill himself. I still can function and preserve through any hardship that life may throw at me. Instead of running away from my problems I have learned to overcome them and care about myself in a way which I could never have before. I could simply just use crutches and excuses for any problem in my life, but what is the point? They get you nowhere in life; instead, they just give you a way out of taking responsibility for one’s actions. Allowing you never to take responsibility for your actions is like never thinking for yourself, and personally, I am someone who would rather be intellectually autonomous in my thoughts and decisions than having some excuse for everything in my life. Owning up to one’s actions is the only way you can have real freedom in the sense of a purpose and meaning to one’s life. The main thing in my life that I have learned through this semester is that I am in control of my life and that I am the one who needs to take responsibility for every action and consequence that happens to me.
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