The Slingshot

When I graduated from college, I was in a really dark place for about three years. I had dealt with depression since high school, but at age 22 it was only exacerbated by the fact that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. The following lyrics from Avenue Q (a musical), sums up how I felt, “Four years of college and plenty of knowledge, have earned me this useless degree.” These lyrics were taken from a song called, “What do you do with a BA in English,” and I could relate wholeheartedly to what this guy was singing about. I spent four years of my life (five if you include my senior year in high school) studying psychology, and after it was all said and done, I was given a piece of paper and I was told to go out into the world and try and be successful. That would have been fine if it wasn’t for the fact that psychology is one of those majors that you need more education in if you’re going to pursue a career in it. I didn’t want to go to graduate school at the time, so I was left with a degree that’s as useful as shorts and a tank top in a hurricane. So because I didn’t see a Master’s or a Doctorate in my future, I didn’t have the faintest idea about what my next steps were going to be. There were countless nights when I cried myself to sleep. I felt bad all of the time. Even when I was doing things that I would typically enjoy, I still couldn’t help thinking about how much of a failure I had become. How could I graduate at the top of my class, and still be living at my parent’s house while working minimum wage jobs that gave me zero fulfillment? And seeing people that I went to school with as they succeeded only served to make matters worse. Why couldn’t I be like them instead of like me? I was at a very low point in my life, and when I was at my lowest, I even began to imagine a world where I no longer existed. Anything was better than feeling how I felt every single day.

One day when I was mindlessly scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, I saw that a couple of my friends had shared this image of a Black woman who had just graduated with her Master’s in fashion psychology. I instantly thought that the program was fake because nothing that amazing could ever exist. Much to my surprise, I discovered that it was a real course and that the application for the next year, would go up at the end of the year. So with a new sense of purpose, I started pulling everything together that I would need to be a successful candidate. When it was all said and done, I ended up getting accepted, and with that acceptance, I also decided what I wanted to do with my life. Research had been a part of my education since my junior year in high school, and now I’m deciding to pick that back up. If I can come up with new and groundbreaking studies that could help to make the fashion industry more inclusive and more representative of the world around us then I think that I could be pretty happy with that.

Positive thinker, sometimes you need to go to your lowest point so that you can rise again. A slingshot needs to be pulled back so that it can do its job. The farther you pull it to the ground, the higher the object inside will go. The same thing can be said for you. Just because you’re experiencing some hardships right now (or in the future) doesn’t mean that you will never reach a high point again. Sometimes being at a low point will give you the clarity that you need to figure out what you have to do in order to make yourself a happier and better person. It may not seem like it at the time that you’re struggling, but if you keep holding on and don’t give up then you’ll be sure to come out of it on top.