Hello! Today I’m sharing another post in the college real talk series, this time with Kelsey of ThePaintedWalnut.com. She has been kind enough to share the story about a toxic relationship she was in that damaged her grades and friendships. Fortunately, she was able to turn it around, and is now sharing her story with me! If you enjoy this post, and have your own college real talk story to share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always looking for new stories to bring to the series!
Hi everyone, my name is Kelsey! When I heard Alyssa was putting together this College Real Talk Series, I felt very compelled to share one of my experiences from college in hopes of helping someone else out there. College can be fun, exciting, scary and awful all at the same time. Hopefully, one of you can relate to the story I’m about to share.
At the end of my freshman year of college, I entered into a long distance relationship. I was so in love – or at least I thought. School quickly got out for summer break and I was looking forward to some time off. Then along came sophomore year. Since school was almost out when I got into the relationship, this was essentially my first time trying to balance school and a relationship (and as some of you know, relationships take work – especially long distance ones).
The Toxic Relationship
I never thought I would struggle with juggling all the different aspects of my life, but I did. As my second year of college progressed, I started putting most of my energy into my relationship. It’s normal to make your significant other a priority, but I felt like I was constantly dropping everything to talk to him. I was being dragged down and was oblivious to it.
Nights out would be declined for a night in to Skype. Classes would be skipped because they just didn’t seem important anymore. My grades slipped and I grew distant from my friends at school. It sounds so ridiculous now, but I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with this person, and suddenly not much else mattered. I got a humongous wake up call when my grades came in that semester. I’d never gotten grades that low in my life. I was extremely mortified and ashamed. That’s not who I was. I’d always been the girl who could keep a good balance with everything – friends, relationships, school and extra curriculars. I wasn’t someone that put one single thing as the center of my world. The person I was wasn’t a person I liked anymore and I had to change that.
Things didn’t change overnight. It was a “slowly but surely” process. I had to work really hard in every single class I took after that in order to get my GPA back up. Unfortunately, one bad semester can really bring down your cumulative GPA. Friendships started to be a bigger priority in my life again. I was saying “yes” to more and having so much more fun. I finally saw what I was missing.
Honestly, I should’ve ended that relationship sooner, but it didn’t end for good until about a year and a half after my wake up call. (Side note: when people that care about you don’t have a good feeling about your relationship, you should usually listen to them). It’s ending left me very free and relieved, although it was a bit sad. I’ve been very cautious with dating ever since. I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Looking for someone that has similar values to you is an excellent place to start. Try and find someone who’s comfortable with themselves and doesn’t demand too much from you. All it takes is one unhealthy relationship to teach you a lesson, so I’m treating this whole thing as a learning experience.
In the End
This is something that is really vulnerable for me to share. I’m ashamed of the person that I turned into during that relationship. Now, I’m not writing this to blame anything on anybody and, of course, I do take responsibility for letting myself become influenced and changed by an unhealthy relationship. I’m writing this to show that it it’s fully possible to bounce back from something like this. I am writing this to let people know that any relationship that causes other parts of your life to decline is not a relationship you want to be in. I’m writing this to encourage people to stay strong to their priorities always.
I truly hope that someone out there can relate to this. College is such a privilege and I regret neglecting my classes that semester. It’s such a fun time in life and I regret not taking part in all of the fun times. Stop giving people dozens of second chances when you know it’s wrong. Take advantage of all the fun things and people college has to offer. Try to live in the moment, but also take steps towards a successful future. Make true, genuine friends and be loyal to them.
So, if you’re going through something similar at the moment, hopefully it will comfort you to know that I graduated with honors and I just got back from an amazing trip to California where I was visiting my best friend from college (that I talk to every single day). Things can always get better, you just have to be willing to work hard for it.
Thanks again to Kelsey for sharing her story with me. This series has given me an amazing opportunity to share so many interesting stories with all of you. If you want to learn more about Kelsey, you can find her blog here, and her instagram here. I hope her story can help you if you are struggling with a toxic relationship. Long distance relationships can be a lot of work, as I well know. It’s ever so important for people dealing with an LDR to balance their life and their relationship, and not dedicate too much time to just one thing. If you want to read my post about LDRs, you can find it here. Kelsey’s story certainly demonstrates that! If you have dealt with something similar, or benefited from reading her story, please share in the comments below. I love hearing how this series has helped to impact others!