The Letter Box

Confession, I am a hoarder, but not the typical kind. I don’t hold onto senseless artifacts and I don’t live in a room cluttered of trash.

Instead, I hoard letters. Under my bed at home and school there is a box of notes, cards and letters from family members, friends and even adversaries. Ranging from birthdays, notes of appreciation and letters of love, I’ve managed to save what seems like every card I’ve received since my freshman year of high school.

In doing so, I’ve created an attachment to each card. Because behind each card is a message. Behind each message is the person who gave it to me. And behind all of that, there is one or many stories only that person and I can share.

The cards I’ve been given are bookmarks in my life and a chance to escape to the past. These positive and negative memories help define the relationships I’ve fostered with others.

While the cards are a reminder of the blessings brought into my life, the box eventually fills up and I am left with a barely held together Sperry shoebox.

And no one wants a broken Sperry shoebox.

After convincing myself it’s time for some Spring Cleaning, the box is eventually cleaned out and the letters that can be parted with are thrown in the recycling, leaving room for new memories and written messaged from others.

Like the cards hoarded under my bead, I have accumulated a schedule unattainable by most sane college students.

And maybe that is why I have been struggling so much.

Because no college student should take on so much that it affects his or her mental state.

But here we are, in a world where 75%of the 40 million depressed persons in the United States are college students, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Despite the statistics, we all think we’re indestructible.

But we’re not.

I remember in high school, teachers always told the rising college student’s time was of abundance in college.

I would love to know what type of college experience they had, because I am fighting the clocking to make sure every need is met between class, interning, extra curricular activities, my sorority, AND my friendships. And my sanity, can’t forget that.

If there is one-thing college students do well, it’s taking on way too much.

In an effort to address my fault and make much-needed change, it’s time I let go of a few things and recycle the cards being hoarded under my bed. Even if it means taking it off of my resume and risking not getting that internship I wanted so badly.

In the end, No internship, no job, or no class is worth losing yourself in. So I’m emptying my shoebox a little bit and leaving some room to breathe.

To the person who reminded me how important it is not to lose myself, thank you.