Worth Living Ambassador Hannah-Grace Morgan
Hannah-Grace is a 20 year old Applied Psychology student at Acadia University. Having grown up seeing first-hand how rocky the road of dealing with mental illness can be, as well as the unfortunate stigma that comes along with it, she is eager to help make a change. Hannah-Grace aims to inspire others to choose happiness, embrace the differences of others, and laugh often.
January was a hard month for me. I unfortunately found myself dealing with a couple of serious situations that took up the majority of my energy. I was drained. I was tired. But then I realized that I hadn’t accessed the resources that I am constantly promoting as a Resident Assistant.
Among the many other things that I have learned in my two years as a Resident Assistant, I learned just how stubborn I am. It’s so easy to give out advice to others- to be that person pointing someone in need in the right direction. What’s hard to do, though, is to take our own advice.
As a Resident Assistant, I deal with a lot. I’m the person my housemates come to when they’re locked out of their rooms, when their friend is over-intoxicated and throwing up in a bathroom, or when they just need someone to rant to about their daily hassles and stressors. As well, I am the first line of defence for many serious situations. People utilize their RAs in times of crisis, whether it be the aftermath of a sexual assault, family issues, mental health concerns and even suicidal thoughts/attempts. After two years, it’s pretty much just second nature for me to list off the resources available to a resident when they come to me in times of need.
When it’s you that needs the support, though, it’s a completely different story. I know what resources are at my disposal. I go to a great school that I believe genuinely cares about the wellbeing of its’ students. I have great support through my ties with Residence Life, including my Residence Dons, the head of Residence Life, and the six excellent individuals that I have the pleasure of working with in my building every day. I have the best group of friends that I could ask for. I have two loving parents who are only a phone call away. I have a brother who I am so fortunate to go to the same school as, who has been nothing but tremendously supportive of me my entire life.
Although I have all the great supports mentioned above, I found myself feeling very alone during the month of January. This was through no fault of my friends and family, but actually of my own. I didn’t reach out. I didn’t ask for help. I didn’t take care of myself.
One of the hardest things for me to admit is that I can’t handle all that I have going on- that I have too much on my plate. I’m not sure if it’s that I think by asking for help I’m showing weakness, but I have always struggled with this. I’m a Type A personality. I like to be in control of everything. I like to be the leader. As much as I struggle with the idea of admitting that I have bitten off more than I can chew, I ultimately found myself having no other option but to do this.
I saw a counsellor for the first time. It was a great experience, getting to rant to someone and leave all frustrations behind when our appointment was over. If this service is available to you, I highly recommend you utilize it. Whether or not you are dealing with something of a serious nature, just having someone to talk to is beyond therapeutic.
I opened up to my friends. I wouldn’t call myself a private person, but I definitely have a lot of my life that I choose to keep from others. When it got to the point where I couldn’t keep it private as it was affecting my daily life, I turned to my support system. The relief I felt from doing this is seriously indescribable.
I talked to my parents. If I’m being honest here, I’ve been burnt out for a while now. I’ve loved school since before I was even old enough to go. Lately, though, I’ve been feeling a disconnect from school. I don’t enjoy my classes. I don’t get excitement from learning like I used to. Doing homework and studying for exams is not just a hassle, but I’ve gotten to the point where I would rather take an F on an assignment than open a book. I just don’t care anymore. I need a break. I was really scared to tell my parents this, but after explaining to them the struggle I’ve been facing, they were more than supportive of me. It is with their support that I’ve actually decided to take a year off from school next year to take some time for me.
That leads well into my last point. While it’s last to be mentioned, it is seriously the most important in my opinion. Take time for you. I cannot stress enough the importance of self-care. Whether it’s just taking an hour to watch your favourite show, cleaning your room or doing a face mask, set that time aside for yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else. You know when you need a break, so do yourself a favour and take it. You’re worth taking care of. You’re worth living.