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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

JOURNAL: Every rose has its thorn
Photo via Hope Moses ([email protected])

I grew up in Nebraska and, no, I did not live on a farm. I lived in a suburb. I drove to school, walked my dog through the park and lived under Friday night lights, just like every other kid in high school. But unlike most of them, I got out. At least that was how I phrased it.

I got out, went to another school, in another state and started a new chapter. Eight hours away from home, I moved into a tiny dorm, knowing no one, but I was excited. 

The excitement only lasted for a month and a half. Moving away from everyone and everything I had ever known was terrifying. Who was I supposed to talk to about my experiences?

All my high school friends were at our state school. They didn’t understand or know what I was going through. In my mind, they were living a “high school part-two” and I had moved on. 

During this time, I was struggling with my living situation. Not being able to come back to a place where I felt safe and comfortable took a toll on my well-being.

I wasn’t sleeping, was barely eating and with no one to talk to, I was drowning. I wanted to catch up with friends and hear what they were doing, but I think we outgrew each other. We were great friends at one point, but then we became merely hometown connections that meet up for coffee twice a year.

As I wrestled with existing outside my childhood home, there was a surge in my anxiety. During the pandemic, I experienced really bad anxiety and it was rearing its head again.

I had a growing interest in journalism and because of everything that was happening, I paid more attention to the news. It sent me into a spiral. The constant stream of information was bombarding my mind. My path into journalism was incredible, it’s what I wanted to do but it got to be too much.

At the time it felt like everything was going wrong and the world was ending. The combination of negative news and my far-from-positive mindset was pushing me to the edge. There were times I had anxiety attacks so intense I couldn’t go to class.

The only person who ever fully knew what was happening was my mom. I called her every day and told her every horrible thing that was happening in my life. Everything was going wrong and this wonderful new college life I thought I would have was crumbling.

I told my mom once, “I don’t want to be here anymore,” and she replied, “Here as in school, or here as in Earth?” I didn’t answer her. I didn’t know the answer. 

After this, I met with my therapist again and began keeping a journal. Writing saved me.

My therapist also pushed me to look into other housing. 

Once I started searching, I’m convinced some higher power intervened. Call it what you want, divine intervention or karma or universal cosmic goodness, I found a new dorm that was, without my knowledge, directly across the hall from my college best friend.

And thank God that happened. She introduced me to her friends; we hung out and talked every day. Moving into that dorm gave me what I needed: a safe space, comfortability, a friend to confide in and a community I could trust.

I remembered why I left Nebraska: I had done everything, it was boring. Once I knew my friends better, we explored the city. New restaurants, food trucks and stores filled the weekends. We spent afternoons wandering the Third Ward, petting cute dogs and meandering the riverwalk to take photos.

Once my friends and I went to a farmer’s market and on our way back we got lost in the city. We were lost and I felt the anxiety there, but I learned how to push it away and live in the moment. Eventually, we found our way back and we still talk about the awesome food we had.

Sometimes I still get anxious and miss my home. It’s impossible not to. But now I have a support system. Two of my best friends are here for me, I have a journal to write in and, when all else fails, I can still call my mom. I’m eight hours away from Nebraska but I’m also eight minutes away from my best friend’s apartment and eight seconds away from a phone call with my mom.

This story was written by Izzy Fonfara Drewel. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Izzy Fonfara Drewel
Izzy Fonfara Drewel, Production Director
Izzy Fonfara Drewel is a senior from Papillion, Nebraska majoring in journalism with a double minor in music and Spanish. This school year she will be serving as the Production Director. In previous years, she made her home on the Arts & Entertainment desk as the Executive Arts & Entertainment Editor, and she was the Executive Opinions Editor last year. Outside of the Wire, Izzy plays the trumpet in the Marquette University Bands and spends her free time trying new restaurants and playing card games with her friends. She is excited to pilot this position this year and build a strong staff that is confident in their abilities.

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