An Open Letter To College Freshman

It wasn’t until I had a conversation with an old friend yesterday that I realized I’m going into my second year of college— I’m not a freshman anymore. cole-keister-291568To look back on the beginning of college last year, it’s odd to think of myself as two different people; the me then and the me now. But things have changed, I can’t deny that, and the first year of college was a big one. Would things have been more different had I known a few more things going into the year? Maybe. Because I was terrified, I remember that much, in a new school with new classes and new strangers, with this thing called a major I had to work to get a degree in for the next 4 years.

Talk about daunting.

So as a college sophomore, this is my open letter you about what to expect, not expect, and what you need to remember going into your first year of college.

Here’s to you.

Dear College Freshmen,

Well would you look that, 12 years of mandatory schooling has led you up to this— your first year of college. I’m sure you’ve got some expectations, maybe crazy frat parties or super cool lab classes you get to take part in. Like I said last week, try to let go of those expectations and just live your life for a little bit, do whatever you think feels right. But don’t you worry, both activities are nice options to add to the great college experience, there’s plenty of time to do it all. Because people might say “welcome to college, best four years of your life.” And maybe it can be, but only if you make that happen for yourself. No one else will. 

First things first, college is an education. Amidst the weekend parties or the late night food runs, remember that you’re there for school first. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an AP class to get your grades up when they’re lower than you want them to be. Instead you have two choices: retake the class, or simply do well enough the first time that your GPA doesn’t take a hit in the process. james-bold-343821That means going to office hours, asking for help or a tutor (when I got a tutor for Calc 2, I realized that I’m actually pretty good at math, I just needed some help), and stick to a study schedule. Whether you’re on the quarter system or the semester system, assignments and tests come up quickly, you definitely don’t want to be caught by surprise. And not the good kind. Speaking of AP, it may mean something completely different in college, but there are just as many students it applies to. Academic probation is a very common place for college students to find themselves, especially in the first year, because things happen and adjusting takes a little time. So if it happens, don’t freak out, but do your best to avoid it. Trust me, it’s just easier if you do.

So, you know how I mentioned that college is an education first? Well it is, always remember that, but also remember that this is about to be your life for 4 years… You can’t spend all your time studying or working that you have nothing to look forward to but good grades. Don’t get me wrong, good grades are fantastic. But they aren’t everything. I’m not a big party person, never have been, yet I tried going to a few college parties because you never know what you’re going to like doing in a new place. That doesn’t mean you have to do anything you aren’t comfortable with, know your own boundaries, but try to have a little fun too. Still not that into parties? Try a kick-back or a movie night instead, go to the market one day or take a trip downtown. anton-dee-343828.jpgThere are so many ways to get out there and meet new people, you just have to give yourself a chance. Check out a few clubs you’re interested in, join a gaming group, go to a few monthly lectures/seminars, just find a place to fit in and enjoy being a college student while it lasts. Just one year goes by pretty fast.

Now we’ve talked about the education part and the fun part, but what about everything you still don’t know? There are a lot of things that happen throughout freshman year, but the beginning can be a bit scary, maybe lonely, and definitely an adjustment. And that’s okay. Even while going to the same school as my brother, the first night was still a lonely one. Big new school surrounded by people I didn’t know, stuck in a major I didn’t like, and a whole year I just walked into not quite sure who would be walking out. I had a lot of questions going through my head: Am I going to make my parents proud, will I even find friends who like me, how am I supposed to start over again, what do I do if… That’s when the what if’s started. And those never really ended. But I can tell you a few things to hold onto, ready? First of all, you will find your people. Maybe you will have a whole group of people that matter to you by the end of the year, or some greek brothers/sisters to hold ontonathan-dumlao-287713.jpg, maybe you’ll find some nerds that like the same things you do, and maybe you’ll fall in with a crowd that likes things you never really cared for yet somehow you’re at home there. Just know that you will find a place to call home, even that place is just one or two people. As for the classes and figuring out where you’re headed academically, there are counselors around for that exact reason. No matter your area of study, there are people who are paid to help you map out your classes and find a little security in your future. And if you’re switching majors? They help with that too. All you have to do is ask.

Last but not least, let’s talk about you. College is a lot of pressure, from the grades to finding a place to belong, it can all seem pretty daunting at first. It’s a process, one that you learn and adjust to throughout your college career. But whether you’re just starting out or getting back into the swing of things, you’re not alone in this. You’ll make new friends and keep in touch with your old ones, none of this means you have to leave people behind if you don’t want to. Just make sure you don’t leave yourself behind in the process. And if you’re like me, you might get a little lost freshman year. Or a lot lost. With all these questions and things to think about, it can get pretty overwhelming pretty quickly. The good thing is, just like there are counselors there to help you map out your classes, there are counselors there to help you through the rest of it too. I know a lot of students struggle with the anxiety of starting over and the pressure of getting things right, but you don’t have to do it alone. Most college campuses have matheus-ferrero-228716.jpghealth and counseling centers, if you ever feel the need, there’s nothing wrong with going to find some extra help. We all need a little help from time to time, and that’s okay. Like I said, all you need to do is ask.

From new friends and old ones to handling classes and balancing a social life, the first year of college comes with a lot of adjustment. In the beginning, you might have a hard time finding solid ground under your feet. All I can say is give yourself time. If I’m being honest, I didn’t find my feet until the end of my freshman year and at that point, I realize I had been building the foundation for it all year. I just never tried testing the weight. And speaking of weight, the freshman 15 may not be as big a problem as they say, but just because there’s a Chick-fil-A on campus doesn’t mean you need to eat it every day. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and go to the gym every once in awhile; just be healthy (stock up on Dayquil/nyquil now), get enough sleep, and that’s all that matters. It’s going to be a year of firsts, new people, new stories, and a whole lot of learning. So buckle up and get ready for one of the most life-changing years of your lives. Make it count, go live your life, and good luck!

Sincerely,

A College Sophomore

Getting Unstuck: 5 ways to get back up again

Welcome to the second week of August— aka, the time when all the high schoolers realize that a new year just started and all the college kids realize that the end of summer is inevitable. lisheng-chang-239427With a new year starting for everyone and all the adults giving in to the impending end to vacation time, sometimes we look in the mirror on that first day and realize something: We’re stuck.

Personally, I’ve been finding myself getting restless lately. As all my friends head back to college or move on to new things, I’m taking a summer class I’ve ironically already taken and doing most of the things I’ve always done because there aren’t many people here to do new things with. I guess you could say that I’ve been feeling a bit stuck.

We’ve all been there right?

But as a way to get myself back up and moving again, and maybe to help out anyone else feeling the same way, I decided to write about it. Let’s be honest, it’s what I do. So if you’re feeling stuck, if you’re looking for something new, or you just have a little time to read, here are 5 ways to remind yourself what it’s like to live your life.

 

Be honest with yourself

“Honesty is the best policy.” I know my parents used to always remind me of this and I’m really not sure who said it, but I can tell you that when it comes to ourselves, the truth is important. Are you pushing yourself in a certain direction even though it may not be where you want to go? Stop pushing, break those boundaries. When people get stuck, it’s often because we feel like we’re not headed towards anything special. The thing is, the only person who can make where we’re headed anything but boring is us. So be honest with yourself— if you don’t like dancing then stop dancing, if you need new friends then find new friends, if you don’t like who you’re becoming… Find a way to become someone better. Just because you’re stuck doesn’t mean you can’t get out. You’ve simply got to want to.

Try something new

Have you ever found yourself watching the same Netflix show or re-reading the same book because you liked it the first (few) times? As someone who absolutely loves to re-read books, even I get bored of it after a while. But our hobbies and our outlets, they change who we are— you cannot change if you’re still doing the same things you’ve always done. Maybe there’s a sport that you have had your eye on for a while, thinking “I wonder if I would enjoy doing that.” As a student, there’s no time like the present, put yourself out there! Even for the adults there are different things for different places, like wine tasting and monthly hiking meet-ups, or Thursday night markets and live music… The only way to try something new is to go all in and do it. It takes a bit of vulnerability, the idea of being in a zone that may not exactly be comfortable. But give it some time and effort on your part, and maybe that comfort zone can get a little wider.

Find a different path to follow

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what path we’re on, like Little Red Riding Hood finding herself going down the wrong one. Finding the right one is a trial and error kind of thing. ivana-cajina-337709If you don’t like the people you meet or the things you find along the way, change your direction. Easier said than done? How about this: everything we do is an attempt to get closer to that next chapter, whether it’s paying off bills for the house, picking a college major, or even working hard at a job in hope of a raise and later on, retirement. We do all of these things with a goal in mind. Yet sometimes these goals are too far ahead of us; we get tired. You have to set smaller goals. Allow yourself to feel like you’re accomplishing something every day, even you just read a few pages in a new book or tried that new yoga pose. No matter what you do, give yourself a chance to feel something other than stressed out or over-worked. By giving yourself that break and finding a bit of breathing room, you might feel like you’re headed in the right direction along the way.

Be okay with failure

This one is short and sweet— sometimes you are going to fail. And that is okay. A few weeks ago, I tried picking up a new hobby: painting. Not that I expected to be a prodigy or anything, but in hindsight, I’m not very good at painting. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun. Usually when I try new things, I have the security of knowing I’ll be good at them. Like pursuing writing or trying out for a capella— I knew I at least had a shot. But if you’re trying to get out of a slump, maybe what you need is a little failure. We could all use the reminder sometimes; we’re only human and failing comes with title… As long as we don’t stop there. So let yourself fail, let yourself try, and let yourself fail all over again. If you are enjoying something new, then it doesn’t matter whether you’re good or not. As long as it makes you feel alive or like a part of this life, never let failure stop you. Who knows, maybe you’re better than you think.

Let go of Expectations

Last but not least, this is something a friend of mine told me last week that I’ve been trying to take to heart: There will be times when you need to let go of the expectations you have and just live your life day by day. Simply expect yourself to keep going. As someone who loves to read and get lost in the fictional worlds others have build, it gets easy to lose sight of reality and the life that actually belongs to me. I was a little disappointed that some giant didn’t bring me a cake on my eleventh birthday to tell me I’m a wizard, or that I didn’t grow up with a satyr as a best friend because Poseidon is actually my father. My expectations were a smidge too high.But we all have them and sometimes, they don’t push us forward. They hold us back. So right now, I am asking you to do one thing: let them go, just for a little while. Live outside of your boundaries, brooke-cagle-336464outside of what you think you want, and go find something that makes you happy right now. Once you find that, go find another thing, and another thing, until your heart is so content that you’re running out of room. Then take a look at those expectations— have they changed a little bit? And most importantly, have you changed? I hope so.

With these 5 ideas, I’m hoping that I can find my way to change. I keep telling myself that I’m too young to be stuck, and maybe I’m not. I just haven’t been trying hard enough to get up. But if you’re ready for something new, then allow yourself to go chase life, whether you have all the time in the world or a just a few minutes here to pick up that book. Every little bit counts.

So here’s to getting unstuck, another attempt at painting for me, and to looking in the mirror to realize that maybe this truly is a good life. Good luck and until next week 🙂

On the short film— In a Heartbeat

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… What about a video?

Yesterday I was taking a break from bio studying to scroll through Facebook, as distracting as that can be, and I came upon a video that seems to be taking the internet by storm. Anyone heard of In a Heartbeat?gaelle-marcel-189753

Well if you haven’t, you’re about to.

On Monday, Beth David and Esteban Bravo, two students from Ringling College of Art and Design, posted the largely anticipated film as their a senior thesis. In summary, it is about “a closeted boy runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams.” With its own page on Tumblr and full funding through Kickstarter within the first 3 hours of the films inception, just 4 days after its posting the four-minute film has amassed over 15 million views on YouTube.

Talk about pay off.

Now this film has no dialogue at all; just a soundtrack (by Arturo Cardelús and available on Spotify), two main characters, and a whole lot of feels. But when I saw the short, it became clear to me how much a little really can go a long way.

On a larger scale, this film deals with something that is very important when it comes to entertainment: underrepresentation. From the LGBT community to those of racial minorities, as time goes by we see more and more portrayal of the people who truly make up our everyday lives. In minority cases, people often speak of breaking the glass ceiling, or surpassing barriers that stand in the way of certain equalities. As one of the hopes the filmmakers had for this project, I think film has reached farther than they can imagine and, in the very least, added another crack to that ceiling. 

eric-patnoudes-46029Finally, on a relatable level to so many of us in the world, the truth behind this film lies in one thing: A crush. The innocence, lightheartedness, and wonderful animation of the short, all tie into something that I appreciated finding in the end of this busy week. I wanted to share it with you all.

So without further ado, here is the link to the animated short film In a Heartbeat. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/2REkk9SCRn0

 

 

A Political Side of the Story

After a long weekend of moving in and driving back down for Thursday, summer classes have officially begun. Though this week has been quite an eventful one in my own world, there have also been some major changes in the political world. Everyone seems to be talking about the transgender ban in the military and as someone who has a thing for bandwagons, I’m going to add a little more noise to it.cassie-boca-296277

So let’s talk.

They say that there are two sides to every story, but this one may have several. There are a lot of things to consider in this one. As Americans, there are certain ideals we live by no matter our political stance as individuals. Life, love, and the pursuit of happiness– number one in the bill of rights. Then you’ve got the right to bearing arms, a controversy in its own, freedom of speech, and several others that we all may or may not remember. Over the years, the country has developed a penchant for freedom and personal rights, the question now is how far it all may go.

That is the question this ban concerns.

On one hand, there is the idea that any person who wants to fight should be allowed to. As hypothetical as Captain America was, it still upheld a soldier’s right to enlist. It is something many people both believe in and are very proud of. From family to friends, I know many who are part of the armed forces that have grown and become better people through it. There are several branches of the military and often a good position can be found for anyone who seeks it, that is not the issue. The issue comes up when someone’s ability to fulfill that position is compromised.

Because on the other hand, the ability to fight without hindrance is not something people always have a say in.giovanni-calia-796

The right to fight is a privilege, and unfortunately, one that cannot be given to some people. Did you know that a person cannot enlist if they are anemic, diabetic, or an addict? Though each of these conditions are different, they do have one thing in common: each requires medication to keep the person going. Unfortunately, transitioning can be seen the same way. Though I cannot boast a full knowledge of the process, there is some logic to the reasoning. With a dependence on hormones and intense medical treatments to complete the transition, it would be unsafe for someone in this position to end up overseas unable to get what they need. Look at someone with diabetes, if they were to run out of insulin or their blood sugar dropped too low without anything to treat them, their life would be instantly on the line. For this reason, I also understand the practicality of this side if the ban. It’s not about the people at all; in the end, it’s about safety.

These are the two main sides of the argument, both the freedom to fight for someone people believe in as well as the inability for a person’s body to allow them to. This US alone holds 326.4 million people, each and every one who ideally holds the same 33 rights in the constitution. Whether these rights are upheld is another story, as in this case, equal opportunity is not possible. There are other sides to this situation however, more than I can count, but I invite you to take a look into it if you would like because it is part of the policy our country runs on.

President Trump has been in office for 189 days so far and in that time we have all seen some major changes within our country, from immigration to signing 24 executive orders. This new change announced on Twitter is one more thing to add to that list. With the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in 2011, a major step forward in the LGBT community, this new development raises the question: is this a step forward or backward?

Only time can tell us how this situation will play out with the hope that we arrive at a better tomorrow.

jason-wong-305496And though this has nothing to do with politics but rather humanity, I will say it louder for the people in the back:

Transgender individuals, like any other group of people in this world, are never a burden to those who care about them. That is absolutely true. And that will never change.

Inside Out– A poem

Today’s the day— Nick and I are moving into our first house this weekend. As summer classes start Thursday and we make our way towards sophomore year, it seems that a lot of things are changing. Little pieces of our adolescence are being left behind along the way.

anders-jilden-307322Call me nostalgic or simply at a loss for how quickly time passes, I’m not sure which one is more true. But in the spirit of out with the old and in with the new, here’s a new poem for you.

These past few weeks have had me reflecting on freshman year, from the Milo protest and needs for  safe spaces, to learning how to start over and figure out where we belong all over again. It got me thinking: if we were always surrounded by safe spaces, like a welcoming campus without any offense or absolute and free expression, would it make us better or would it simply shelter who we could become?

So I decided to take that thought and run with it; the direction definitely changed, but in the end, this is what I came up with. I would love to hear what you think and how you feel about the idea of “safe spaces” on college campuses. Here’s to new writing:

Inside Out

 

Even when you’re a part of it, you’re not;

you never really were.

It’s like stepping inside the circle you tried so hard to get in,

only to realize that even then,

you still stand out.

So you wonder, what’s the point?aaron-burden-261110

Why bother pushing against walls you know

will never crumble,

if every time you go left they tell you to go right?

So you take those rights and yet somehow you’re still wrong

and in every mirror you see reflected back at you

all the ghosts of your past. And in the corner

the skeletons are spilling out of the closet door ajar—

the closet you don’t dare step out from, for the inside…

Well, it’s comfortable there, it’s safer there,

so you keep telling yourself.

Yet it begs the question:

when in your life has a safe space ever stayed that way?

For when you’re right, you’re still wrong,

and when you’re in, you will always stand out.

Because in your bones you know those spaces never existed.

They were never really safe.

shttefan-280960

But if a child cries out in a place they believe to be safe

and nobody is around to hear it,

does it ever really matter if they even cried out

to make any sound

at all?

Life is like a Palindrome- But not Quite

Did you know that starting on the tenth, this entire week of dates has been a set of palindromes? Take a look, they read the same way backwards as they do forward: 7/10/17, 7/11/17… 7/17/17.  What a crazy life we’re living isn’t it?

nora-gorlitz-310858

Anyway, that was your fun fact for the week and today I am writing about something that isn’t as straight-forward and backwards as a palindrome: Choosing our paths.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my past vs. my future and everything in between. I’ve been out of high school for over a year and after catching up with friends in the short time I have been back home, it’s amazing to me how much some of us have changed. Our mindsets seem a little more practical, the way we act has matured just a bit, and our heads are now set in another direction… We are no longer the scared/excited/lost freshman trying to find our way around campus we had been. We’re growing up.

As we keep moving, we are handed a little more responsibility here and a couple more things to consider there. Going into my sophomore year of college, I’m switching my major— little did I know how difficult and complicated that would be when I first showed up. But I’m switching to a major that doesn’t have the best reliability when it comes to jobs once I graduate, ideally, in the next 3 years. With the way things are going, the issue with jobs doesn’t only apply to me; that seems to be the case for a lot of us.

So we play our cards right, add a minor or score all the right internships we can possibly find along the way to where we want to be in the working world— possibly.

I say possibly because, well the truth is, a lot of us have a pretty good idea of where we want to be in five years. Or at least a rough estimate. Others of us have no idea where we want to be in the next two. Yet once each of us gets there, we will probably be somewhere entirely different. My generation is said to be filled with high achieving students that have even higher aspirations. I know I definitely have some of those high aspirations in mind. But the truth is, as reality sets in, our plans change a little bit and we begin to adapt to the paths that we started on.

Sooner or later we begin to realize what we can or cannot have in this world isn’t always up to us. Sometimes it’s all about circumstance. And we cannot always change those.

But we can change who we are because of them, we can adapt. If we don’t, we either get what we wanted or find out that there are other people willing to do what we weren’t. As they say, such is life.

osman-rana-263702When I was younger, I had this dream of doing something that I still carry with me in the back of my mind: I wanted to change the world. I used to think it was impossible for one person to do that. Now I’m not so sure.

You know the butterfly effect, where small causes can have larger impacts? Well, that is the embodiment of my dream. Just because I say I want to change the world doesn’t mean I need to impact 7.4 billion people all by myself to do it. All it means is that I need to effect a few people, who in turn impact a couple more, and before you know it, I’ve changed the worlds of enough people for it to matter.

That’s all any of us can ask for.

Now take that idea and apply it to the paths we are choosing— the butterfly effect is still in play. Because if any of us have dreams, a place we see ourselves in 5 years, there are ways to make that happen. Maybe it costs too much to dream that big, but if you save twenty dollars here and thirty there, sooner or later you’re saved enough for rent or a big move to that city you’ve been dreaming of for so long. Or what if you’re not experienced enough to get where you want to go? You’ve got to snag an internship one year, try to network your way into another, and maybe in time you can find yourself in the heart of the goals you hold in your own.

The thing is, the paths we choose and those dreams that many of us have, we can only reach them if we put in the work to get there.

Because, we’re growing up. All of those friends in our lives we consider to be “our people” right now may not be the same ones here later on. And some of those aspirations we think mean so much to us now may not hold as much weight in the long run. If there is any time for our lives to be changing, to be rearranging into something else, this is it.

We may be choosing paths to begin the rest of our lives on, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay on it— there is always another direction take and another opportunity to find as we make our ways to the future we cannot always control.

dawid-zawila-279998Like I said, it’s not as straight-forward and backwards as a palindrome: life isn’t supposed to be. We’re supposed to get lost a few times, pick ourselves up, and keep going. Because we only get one life to live, and this truly is a beautiful life we’re living.

In Loving Memory and Suicide Prevention

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

 

They say that no matter what happens, life goes on. And it does— unless something else gets in the way.

chuttersnap-297551

On Wednesday, our 15 year old yellow Lab, Samson, passed away and though I am incredibly sad to have lost a member of our family, I am also thankful he had such a long life with us. Over the years, we watched him grow up, climb fences, father puppies, and eat our food (two whole cakes at one point). Then we watched him grow older, slow down, climb the stairs less, and inch his way towards a deadline none of us could see.  

No one can ever truly see it coming.

But that’s the point. Because lately I have been thinking a lot about life and death, or more specifically, death when it comes by way of suicide. We’re not supposed to be able to see that deadline, but far too often, people make their own.

It has been almost three years, yet I can still remember a young boy who had attended Folsom Middle and went as far as homeschooling to escape relentless torment— Ronin took his own life because he was bullied too far past his breaking point. At age 12, he was said to be kind, outgoing, and even “better than some of the girls” when it came to the junior cheerleading squad. I still remember the green ribbons tied around trees throughout town for him. He was only in seventh grade and sometimes I wonder where Ronin would be now if he were still alive; a question none of us will ever have the answer to.

Three weeks ago, a junior from Cal Poly Slo took his own life after battling what seemed to be bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I never knew Jack either, but from what I can tell he had an incredible amount of promise and a personality that made others feel like they mattered. Though there may be no proven cure for the two illnesses he suffered from, there are countless ways to find help and reach out when someone is struggling to cope day by day. Every day the stigma around mental illness fades little by little, but even so, the rates of suicide in young adults and teenagers continues to rise.michael-dam-258179.jpg

Something needs to change.

Two weeks ago, a girl I can only say I knew from passing in the halls of Vista Del Lago High or as part of the Class of 2015 also took her own life. Yet Cinnamon is survived by so many people from the music program at the high school, which you may donate to in memory of her, to her family and friends alike. Though I can say nothing about her motivations or the situation she found herself in that led to her death, I can say that she was loved and made an impact on countless people throughout her life.

A life that was cut too short.

I said this last year in my post on world suicide prevention month, but this is something I can never say enough: Your life matters. No matter what you’ve been through, from family divorce and bullying, to heartbreak and failure, the universal truth of the matter is that life goes on.

But it can only do that if you let it.

When it comes to mental illness, or bullying, or hardship that seems too large to overcome, people can find themselves wanting to quit, wanting a way out. Maybe you aren’t where you wanted to be in your life or you don’t think you’re strong enough, good enough, smart enough… The list goes on and the people who feel this way begin to add up, when maybe a just few of them can’t hear it when someone says “I love you” or “you’re important to me.”

These words cannot be said enough, if you love somebody, tell them that. To anyone who has ever found themselves losing hope, or running out of fight, know that it is okay to ask for help, there is nothing wrong with that. For you are not broken, you are never a burden, and you will always be loved by someone. Just because you don’t always feel strong or like people need you in this life doesn’t mean either is true.

Just because you cannot see the stars in the daylight does not mean they aren’t there.

For the survivors and those who have lost loved ones, support is always, always a priority. My heart goes out to all of you in hope that healing can come with time.

In order to help raise awareness and prevent tragedies like this in the future, here are just a few warning signs of suicide to look out for and a link if you want to know more: Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose, talking about being a burden to others, increasing the use of alcohol or drugs, or withdrawing/feeling isolated.

annie-spratt-218458Below, if you or someone you know ever needs assistance in a hard time or just needs some help, here is the Crisis Text Line which is a toll-free, nationwide 24/7 crisis text line. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24/7, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline for suicidal crisis or emotional distress. And lastly, The Trevor Project which is a nationwide organization that provide crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

And on a final but very important note, if anyone ever needs someone to talk to, to not talk to, or just sit and exist with, I am always available no matter who you are, how I know you, or even if I know you at all. My email is on the site, kwilliamsbooks@gmail.com, feel free to reach out to me, any time and any day. Because you are worth it.

Though we may not be at Hogwarts, and I may not be a wizard, the quote still stands…

“Help will always be given [in my life] to those who ask for it.”