This past fall was definitely one of the most difficult times in my life. I was stressed, anxious, and depressed almost every day. It took me back to my days in middle school if I am being totally honest. My fate was in my hands and my entire future was riding on every choice I made, but at the same time I felt absolutely helpless. 

I never imagined that I would one day be placed on academic probation. I was devastated and I had no clue what I was doing. To top it all off, fall of 2018 was also one of my most difficult semesters academically speaking. No matter what I did I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything was riding on my weakest class, and I cannot describe how amazing I felt after finding out that I miraculously passed it with the lowest possible grade I could get. You could not pay me enough to go back to that point in my life. I am surprised my hair did not start falling out from the amount of stress I was under. However, I learned a lot about myself in just that one semester.  

My entire life, I have thought of myself as a weakling. I have always been honest about my past and ongoing struggles with anxiety and depression. If I am being honest with everyone, I did not think I would ever make it through all of that. I was convinced that I would not make the cut and would be immediately dismissed from the university. Even If I could manage to petition my way back in, I would have lost my financial aid, so in the end I would be out of a college education all thanks to a couple of bad semesters. I am still not sure how I did it, but I fought my way through several mental and emotional breakdowns and bouts of depression to get all of my work done and prove that I could find my way out of the mess I made for myself. 

In the span of last semester, I learned that I am so much stronger and way more intelligent than I often give myself credit for. I do not plan on ever getting back to that point, but now I know that if I am ever faced with a similar situation that causes such a strain on my mental health ever again, I have what it takes to get through it and come out stronger in the end.

ALEX BLADES is a blogger for The Vidette. He can be reached at cablade@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexBlades__

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