Why I am a Pi Phi!

When I was little, I would always go to visit my older sisters at college. I loved visiting my sisters because one of their favorite parts about college was their sorority. Even though I didn’t completely understand what Greek Life or a sorority was when I was younger, I saw how much joy and happiness in brought into their lives. 

Not only were both of my sisters in sororities too, but my mother and grandmother were active sisters in Greek Life as well in college. Sororities helped shape and transform the women of my family into amazing leaders and role models that I look up to. It gave them the opportunities and friendships only sisterhood can give, and when I signed up to go through recruitment I was so excited to see where I would end up. 
Going through recruitment and choosing to go Greek was one of the best experiences I have had in my life. Nothing can ever compare to it because nothing is like it. 
My time in my sorority has its ups and downs; people will try to bring you down and others will bring you up. There will be tears both of sorrow and joy. There will be so much happiness that at the end of the day you realize how blessed you truly are to be a woman of an amazing organization. 
I have faced obstacles, I make mistakes and I gave flaws, but I am also beautiful, intelligent, and a sister of Pi Beta Phi. I am so proud to call myself a sister of my sorority and blessed to have 150 sisters by my side. 
I will never be alone and neither will they. 
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Live for yourself

Living a life with anxiety and depression is not an easy task. I have been living with anxiety and depression since I was 12 years old; it seems like a lifetime doesn’t it? Over the years, obstacles have come and gone, and 7 years later I can tell you that the things I stressed over years ago simply do not even matter now.

It’s crazy! I used to worry about the smallest of things like if someone didn’t say hi to me in the hall or if someone didn’t like my instagram post. I over thought everything. I read into things so much that by the time I fell asleep at night I had a list of 10 things that worried me and I could never fall asleep.

Looking back on it now, I realize things like that do not even matter. I don’t care if someone back then didn’t say hi to me one day or if someone didn’t like my instagram post because in all honesty it didn’t mean anything. To this day, it still doesn’t mean anything, and in 10 years it won’t either. So why worry about the small things?

We worry about the small things because they exist at the moment.

I still have trouble not worrying about the small things because it happens in this moment. I look and read into situations or experiences too much that eventually I am no longer happy by the end of the day. Instead, I take all my energy into this negativity when I could be channeling this energy into something more positive like making friends.

At the end of the day I realized I wanted to be happy. I wanted to enjoy life more instead of taking all my time worrying about other people’s opinions on me. When I started to realize that my life is not determined by other people’s thoughts of me, man my whole life became easier.

To this day, it is still hard. I get that; there are days where I feel like breaking into tears, but then I realize people love me and already do accept me and I have to live for that and not the haters! Learn to live for you instead of others.

With love and hope,

Julia

The Story of the mountain and the valley

My life is far from perfect. There are days that are bad, so incredibly bad that I think I will never have a good day again. My life must be doomed because someone is mad at me, I said the wrong thing, or something did not go the way I planned. My life must be over because I will never experience happiness or laughter again. I am doomed.

It is so hard to think about all the good and wonderful things in your life when you are putting all your energy into something so negative. Sometimes the negativity outweighs the positivity and that’s when the real trouble starts.

It starts out as a funk; this funk where you become bored and unsatisfied with the people and things you like. You have an urge to find new people and make new friends and become a new person. You desire people to seek your attention. You crave the attention you are getting and eat it up like you haven’t eaten in days, but when the smallest thing goes wrong, it all falls apart.

You no longer enjoy the people around you. You become sad and isolate yourself from the people who you love, as for the new people you seek to be friends with, you realize they actually do not care for you. These people are only using you to make themselves look better and you are just an accessory.

All these events start to pile up. Something that was so small has now grew into the size of mountain that you do not know how to climb. Eventually, you realize you are stuck in a valley so deep that you find yourself becoming lazier and more numb. The only thing you want to do is sleep because you do not have to think or worry. All you feel is numb; you really don’t feel anything because you haven’t allowed yourself to experience anything else.

People begin to notice your absence and liveliness. They begin to ask other people, “What happened to her/him?” Questions begin to float with no answers, and soon you find yourself at a loss for words.

This is what it feels like to slowly seep in anxiety and depression while it slowly overcomes you. It consumes you, your thoughts, and soon your entire life. It wants you to feel or see nothing except darkness. Now, for me at least it doesn’t end here.

Slowly, a little light starts to enter and creep it’s way in. Someone mentions the idea of going to see someone and talk about how you feel; at first, the idea seems completely foreign until you realize it may actually help.

You talk to someone for the first time and it feels like the weight of the world has been lifted. You can breathe for the first time again and you actually get to see some blue sky for once. Then, you start to go maybe once or twice a week because you realize you enjoy the company and feeling of telling someone anything you want. Slowly you enjoy the person’s presence.

As time goes on, it begins to help you feel the sunshine again. You hear the birds as they are singing and you sense the grass on your feet! It feels like you are living again, but then something goes wrong. You plummet out of control and hit the rocks at the bottom of the valley and can’t move. “What do I do?” “No one can hear me!” Thoughts rush into your head! You feel like you failed and can’t make it up.

Suddenly, someone appears and they are equipped with a rope! They throw it down to you, and you realize they are throwing it to you to grab. You suddenly lunge for the rope and grasp it between your hands and start to climb. The more you climb the more you climb! The sun is brighter and brighter and air fills your lungs even more and finally you reach the top. It’s beautiful; it’s life.

Nothing is easy, but it is worth it. Just like you, and just like your life.

With love and hope,

Julia

Reflecting on my life

For the longest time I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy with the life I was living. Instead, I was just living the life I thought I deserved. I thought that I deserved a life that was full of constant stress and worry. I didn’t think I deserved more than this because for awhile I thought my anxiety and depression defined me.

After awhile people started to realize that I wasn’t myself anymore. I became a person full of despair and negativity. I had let my life taken a path I had never wanted to take. I walked so far into darkness that after awhile I didn’t know the way out. I was blinded by all the bad things in life that I could not even focus on anything positive.

Finding my way out of the darkness was extremely hard, but somehow I managed to do it. Of course I had help though because I could not have done this all on my own.

Everyday was a working struggle. I talked to people constantly, prayed every moment I could, and continued to push and fight through it. It was like walking through quick sand; the more I struggled the harder it became. The struggle became very real for me, it came to the point where I didn’t want to move from my bed in the morning or be around friends; all I wanted to do was sit in my room by myself wishing for someone to reach out and carry me.

Little did I know that many people wanted to help me and carry me through my struggles, but I pushed them away thinking it was best for them to not get involved. That’s when I realized I was doing more harm than good.

Don’t push people who are willing to help you out of your life.

I can stress this enough. This is so important to remember because people do this all the time. Instead, talk to them. Even if its on the phone for a few a minutes or a deep conversation about life that lasts for hours I hope you are able to find the strength you need to survive and keep going.

Strength comes in numbers.

With love and hope,

Julia

What sisterhood means to me

When I was first coming into college I had never imagined myself joining a sorority. It’s crazy to think that at some point I thought that way because now I can’t imagine my life without it.

One of the reasons I joined a sorority was the idea of sisterhood. Sisterhood is not just a friendship; it is so much more than that. You can’t describe what it feels like to people outside of it. It truly is something only the sisters themselves can feel.

My first semester of college, I struggled a lot with anxiety. I was afraid of being myself or telling people about my anxiety;I didn’t want to seem weird or out of place. However, as the months went on and I met more sisters, I realized that almost everyone I talked to cared about me in some way. I didn’t experience anything like this before.

As I continue to struggle with anxiety on a day to day basis and go through a really hard time in my life, I know that there are sisters who care about me and will always be there for me. For that, I am truly grateful.

Even though I am only a shy freshmen, I can tell you being in my sorority is one of the greatest feelings to me. I hope to meet more amazing sisters and make amazing friendships with them. I hope to inspire my sisters and be there for them when I can!

As I continue to grow stronger and happier, I am happy and proud to be sorority sister!

With love and hope,

Julia

I want to see change.

On average a person will see about 900 different people on a weekday and around 67 people on a weekend. That’s a lot of faces we see! Out of these 900 people around 201 people have a mental illness of some kind; that is a huge number of people we pass a day that silently suffer. These are the people that need people like you and I!

In the 21st century, mental health treatment is widespread and continuing to grow, however, the stigma behind mental health illnesses are still lacking. We need to change this! Simply by telling a friend or a family member about it can go a long way. There are so many ways that we can start to talk about mental health issues in an open setting and get more people educated on what needs to be done. People are suffering silently, in need of hope, in need of a friend, in need of someone and that person can be you.

I am writing this post now in hope that someone reads it and feels inspired to do something. We need to do something; we need change. I want to see change. As Congressman Rep. Tim Murphy said, “We need to bring mental health treatment into the 21st century.”

With love and hope,

Julia

The Poetry Series: Tyler Knott Gregson

Tyler Knott Gregson is a photographer and a poet who shares his poems and work online daily. With popular demand, Tyler Knott Gregson was able to publish his first book title “Chasers of the Light: The Typewriter Series.” What introduced to me to this wonderful poet was the organization To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA). I decided to start a series of blog posts devoted to poems found in Gregson’s posts because as TWLOHA put it, “he has a way with words.” This is the beginning post that will follow hopefully more, and what more fitting than to start with the poem that TWLOHA used for the own t-shirt design that sparked it all.

“I sang my way

through the day,

a simple song

with a single word,

over and over

into the grey.

Did you hear it,

did it finds its way?

The song I sang was

stay,

stay,

stay.” ~Tyler Knott Gregson

Share some of your thoughts or comments about what you think the poem means or how it relates to your life. I challenge you to let the poem speak to you and think in ways you may have not allowed yourself to think before. Remember while you are reading this and thinking it over though, that you are meant to stay on this earth, not to be taken away until it is time. Your life is worth living.

With love and hope,

Julia