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Leaving university was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. I had a sense of purpose. Everything had a deadline and nothing was too difficult that it couldn’t be solved with a library search or a quick email sent to my supervisor or even a fellow student. There was never a lack in social gatherings from nights out to movie nights. Drinking during the day was acceptable, even drug use. It takes a while to figure out that’s what made me happy. Being drunk or high surrounded by friends was the most relaxed and calming feeling ever. One thing about university that I both cherished and found annoying was that you were never alone. Any time I felt scared of what I may do to myself or lonely, a friend was 10 seconds away up the stairs. No one judged me on my choices as they were all in the same environment.
I created a persona for myself. I was the organized one, the one everyone went to for something, whether it be hairspray, an outfit for a night out, or some straight forward advice. I was the emotionless one, the one who didn’t get upset by benign things such as movies and emotional videos and books like my friends. But I was stressed. I stressed about exams and deadlines despite my exterior, which made it all the more shocking when I did cry or get angry. The thing everyone else didn’t know is that I felt like that all the time. I felt pent up all the time, like a bottle of coke that had been shaken and shaken until bursting point. But instead of exploding, I just allowed myself to go flat. To remain detached and sit by myself rather than allow myself to be vulnerable. My girlfriends are exactly this. They don’t shy away from their feelings and opinions although it may make them unpopular with some individuals. I can’t. I have always been a people pleaser, the one who was cool and easy going. No one ever noticed I didn’t have an actual opinion. I change styles, attitudes, music style, everything depending on who I am around. It's this reason why I feel like I don’t have an actual identity. That I couldn’t write a personal profile about myself unless I based it upon who would read it.
Are you like me? Do you feel angry for no reason and burst into tears at the slightest inconvenience? I look in the mirror for hours on end memorising my features, trying to connect the average looking 22-year-old with what I feel on the inside. I close my eyes and when I open them, I expect to see this snarled and angry being with an aura as black as coal. But no. I see myself, blond hair, brown eyes. Just average.
If you feel the way I do, that you don't belong anywhere, but want to belong everywhere, I want you to know it will get better. Stop being someone you think everyone will like. Be yourself. The people that love you will be in your life and if they leave, hold the door for them. Never settle for anything less than you deserve. I hope you find your way out of this. As do I.