Letter to my 18-year-old self (3)

Dear 18-year-old self! Although you’ve managed up to this day, you are going to be homeless for 48 hours. You will stay at a 24-hours open bar near “The Student Campus”. You are homeless now, because your friend left. She lost her job and went back to her city, and you couldn’t afford the whole rent, so they will kick you out. No mercy for a girl as powerless as you, oh and you lost the job at the bar too, they couldn’t accept anymore of your excuses for attending your seminars.
     At the same time, your grades are dropping, and you are again in a corner, alone. Still, the coffee you will drink at that 24-hours open bar will taste so bad that you will wish it was poison. You failed. You can’t tell your parents, because they will tell you to come back and leave school, but you can’t do that. You can’t, because that will be a step backwards after all these sacrifices. You can’t ask for money from any of your friends, they have their own problems. What most people don’t know is that most of the students go through this kind of problems. Your best friend is going to send you some money, which is all he can do because he is far away. You will be grateful, but proudly won’t ask anyone else for help, knowing you can’t return the favor.
     You are 21 now, and you are jobless and homeless. Fortunately, the guys working at the bar will pity you and let you stay there. You will call several friends of yours, and one of them will tell you that she has a friend that knows a friend who has a room to rent. You have gathered some money with the help of your friend, around 80 euros, and you’ll meet the owner of the room. She is going to agree with that payment, and you are going to be happy that, at least, you found a roof over your head. They will be kind enough to move your stuff, heavy mostly from the books you have, and you will thank them with your whole heart. You did it, in this cold winter, your shoes are wet, and you are going to be so cold and shiver, but you won’t say a thing. You found a room to sleep in, although the conditions are horrible, you couldn’t care less.
     And the luck isn’t over, you will leave your things unpacked, and run around to find a new job. You will enter a new call center office and pretend you have almost a year experience, although you have only worked there for a few months, but as they say, fake it until you make it. You will get the job and start right away. Your heart will be overfilled with joy, you hit rock bottom and managed to climb the ladder. You could have chosen to go back and take the easiest path, but you didn’t, you are made of will and dreams. You know that the pursuing of happiness for you was pursuing your studies, knowledge and your dreams. For two or three days you won’t go to school, since you have no money you are going to work hard on some portraits to get some money for buying food and other things. You will adjust yourself to your new job pretty well, you will adjust to your new house, and you will finally take control over your life. Take care of your health, please; it is going to deteriorate even more.

Dear 18-year-old self! You are now 22 years old, the last year of your Bachelor degree. Sleepless nights and malnutrition will hit you hard in the next two years. Your mental health will get worse, and you will get uncontrollable anxiety attacks. One of the seminar teachers will humiliate you for your poor appearance, for your weak health, and your burned hair. You will cry burning tears and you will run out of her class. You won’t blame her, although she seemed cruel at that moment, she was right. No one will ever care about what you go through, they will always only see what’s on the outside. They will always notice your shell but not what’s inside. That will be a valuable lesson, especially since none of your classmates said something to protect you. I mean how could they, right? None of them are like you; who always tries to protect the defenseless and always takes the blame because you think you can handle it. So, two lessons learned in one day.
     But from that day on, your anxiety will hit you harder. Sometimes when you are at work, you will ask bathroom breaks, and shake, sweat and cry uncontrollably sitting in the bathroom stall. Sometimes your nerves will curl your lips like they are locked, and it is going to be hard for you to work under those conditions. But you will make it, you will think that you have seen worse, but that’s not true. Oh, your endless struggles, your sleepless nights, your fight to keep your grades up and study hard. Oh, my dear you’re going to face so much suffering and humiliations and days of hunger, but you will NOT give up. During classes, your uncontrollable shaking will get out of hand, but you will manage to ask for a bathroom break, and suffer your panic attacks in silence, and come back with a smile as if nothing happened. One of the teachers will fail you six times in a row because you didn’t buy his book during the first year, and you are going to face difficulties, because if you don’t pass the last year, you can’t graduate. You have an overall average of 7.5, and only a single failed subject; even though you’re going through so much, keeping your grades as high as possible will always be your priority. You’ll pass that test, after a severe fight with that teacher. Your next challenge will be to raise enough money to pay your master’s program. Which will mean not one, but two summer jobs. You’re almost there, so please don’t give up.

(to be continued in couple of days)

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