Last year I wrote”Going to College with a Disability,” as I embarked on my journey at Loyola University. At the time I wrote the post in response to the judgments of those around me. Many people doubted that I could succeed at college because I require assistance for daily living (i.e. a personal care attendant) and I have always struggled with self-confidence.
While on the surface, I acted confident in my ability to succeed at school, I allowed other’s opinions to shake my confidence, which ultimately led me down a self-destructive path.
Ironically, my insecurity created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Less than two weeks before first semester ended, I was admitted to a mental hospital for major depressive disorder and bulimia.
Almost nine months later, I am recovering and planning to go back, only this time, what others say does not faze me. Many people believe that Loyola is not the “right” school for me, but I know that with a little more effort, I can succeed there.
For instance, this year, I have some friendships that I want to expand on, I am taking classes that I am excited for, I have a support system, I am healthier, and I have coping skills for when I am tempted to make unhealthy choices. I realize now, that my health is more important than anything, even education, but I am also ready to pursue my education while making healthy choices. Of course, I still have to rely on a personal care attendant for tasks such as dressing and showering, but that is inevitable.
I understand why my friends and family members are concerned, but I also know that I can handle this. It may be a challenge, but I am up for it. I am stronger than last year, and I have worked tirelessly for a second chance.