My name is Kerry DeBruce and I get it. As a senior, I get it. Even as just a person going through the motions in this thing we call life, I get it. It’s hard to move on, trust me.
It was hard to move on when I realized my friendship with my suitemate from freshmen year will never be the same. It was hard to move on when I found out my old manager from back home passed away. It was hard to move on when I didn’t get the job position I wanted for post-graduation. It was even harder to move on when my dad passed away.
Losing a loved one, a friendship, or an amazing opportunity is never easy. It can take a toll on you. It can make you feel depressed, hopeless, and even crush you. It’s almost like you wonder “How will I ever move on?”
I’ve had that same thought after each one of those losses. But reflecting on each of them, I have really moved on each time. Sometimes I still question how I did it. But I did…and that’s what matters most.
Actually, when I think about it, I didn’t really move on. I moved forward. Moving on would imply my experiences with loss did not have any impact on my life and that I could easily forget about them, which isn’t the case at all.
I decided to look up synonyms for the phrase ‘move forward’ and words like “achieve”, “benefit”, and “grow” came up as the results. This left me feeling empowered because in some ways, I have benefited from my losses. Moving forward to better myself mentally after each loss is the best form of self care I have ever experienced.
You may have recently lost a loved one, a friendship, an amazing job opportunity, anything at all that you consider valuable in your life. And you may feel like you don’t know how you will ever move past the loss of that important thing or person in your life. But I am confident that you will. It may not be today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year. And as cliché as this may sound, you just have to give it time.
I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before, “Just give it time”. But it is the truth. If you combine time with any healthy coping mechanism, you will be okay in the end. You will learn to heal, forgive, or whatever it is you need to do to move forward after your loss.
You are probably thinking, “What is a healthy coping mechanism?” I honestly cannot tell you what it is because I am in no shape an expert on this topic. All I can offer you are insights from what has helped me. I am a college student just like you who has dealt with much loss, mostly in the form of loved ones passing away. In just my college career alone, four of my loved ones have passed away; one person for each year I have been here, at UAlbany.
With each loss from death, I felt my heart break just a little bit more than before. I have tried many coping mechanisms until I found a few that worked well for me. I am here to write about my experiences and how I learned to move forward.
Moving forward isn’t something that can be done in one night. It is a process and processes take time. I want to write this blog to show other students that you are not alone and I want to offer some resources. I want to offer resources as a Residential Life staff member, but also as just a college student who can empathize with what you are currently going through or may have gone through already. I know what it’s like to struggle personally, which then can affect academics and other areas of your life. But over time, I learned the importance of moving forward.
I hope that over the course of this blog series, you are able to challenge yourself to recognize what you are feeling, learn new coping mechanisms, learn the importance of self care, grow as an individual, and most importantly move forward.