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Making Dean’s list against all odds


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Learning to love myself even when I felt like a failure

Hi. My name is Maggie. I’m a freshman in college. I love to be with my friends and my dogs. I love to read, listen to music, and write. I’m a musician and was in marching band in high school. I’m also a competitive swimmer, even though I have a crippling fear of water. But, aside from everything else, I love my summer camp more than anything else in the world.

I never did very well in high school.  I missed a lot of school because of surgeries (I had eight during the first three years of high school). I didn’t have any real, true friends. I struggled (and still do) with depression, severe OCD and anxiety, cutting, suicidal thoughts, and I have autism, as well as other health problems. I was sexually, verbally, and emotionally abused by a classmate from grade school to my sophomore year. My parents were also abusive, but they were verbal and emotional abusers. I failed a lot.

When senior year rolled around, and it was time to apply to colleges, it became very clear that most of those around me expected me to live at home and take a few classes at the local community college. When I applied, was accepted and committed to an “actual” school in a different state, people were surprised. When I got to school, things went very well academically. I received the highest GPA I’d ever gotten, and made it onto the Dean’s list. I was so happy. But my parents aren’t. They tell other people, but only when it is going to make THEM look like the world’s greatest parents. It hurts because I’ve always felt like a failure. All I want is for my parents to look me in the eye and sincerely tell me they are proud of me.

During this time, I turned to my friends. My best friend tells me every day how proud of me he is. My counselor, my academic coach at school, my other friends, all the people surrounding me have told me sincerely that they are proud of me. This has helped me believe (I’d constantly been told, but could never truly believe) my friends when they tell me I matter to them, and that even though my family isn’t the support system I wish they were, I am NOT alone and that people do care about me. My friends are my family, and they are the greatest people I know. Appreciate your friends, or your family, or whoever is that person for you. Whoever makes up your support system, recognize that and make sure they know how much they matter to you. And never, ever, take them for granted.

Second semester hasn’t started yet, but I am determined to be just as successful if not more. I am determined to show those people who decided I wasn’t going to amount to anything that I am better than that. I know that I can do this, and you can too.



  • avatar2

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    Little Miss

    Thank you for sharing this story! I am getting ready to leave for college soon, and this story helped me; like I realize now college can be good, like a, “new beginning.” I am happy that you realize that you are never alone and we all feel like we’re never good enough sometimes, but in the end you really are. After reading your story, I think you really are good enough and super strong. Best of luck for second semester, you got this! smile

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