While growing up, I’d defined myself by the expectations of the people around me. All my life, I’d had my family, teachers and friends, telling me right from wrong, telling who I was, and who I would be. When I arrived in Davis that burden fell on my own shoulders. For the first time, I had complete freedom to choose.
On the first night, a few friends I made bought some alcohol using a fake ID. The pregame was all I remember… until waking up the next day and doing it all over again. Within the next few months, I abused this freedom, exploring the whole new world of drugs that California had to offer. I’d go high to most classes, and party from Tuesday to Sunday, life was GREAT! Until… it wasn’t… I remember waking up with a couple of my friends standing over me. They were shouting, I could barely see it, but my head was splitting and I couldn’t hear a thing. I felt sick and my bones hurt… and then I blacked out again.
The next few weeks were spent in counselors’ offices and support groups. Again, I was surrounded by people telling me how to live my life and I hated it. But something started to change. I began listening. Not just blindly follow like I’d spent all my life doing, but actually hearing, understand and internalizing what others had to say, so I could make choices that I knew were my own.
Fast forward a few more months: I joined a sports team, a student run journal, and started volunteering in a research lab. I built healthy relationships, attended office hours and got to know my professors. Now, I enjoy waking up, going through my busy day, because I know that every decision I make, is my own. Davis is an invaluable resource, all you have to do is ask.
Anonymous, UC Davis student