A Pivotal Moment

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Hi everyone. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy over the past couple of months. 

I would say the trip was a mixed bag. Most days were relaxing, and we had great food. We met family friends, and that was so much fun. Whenever I had moments to myself, I made the most of them. I listened to music, read part of a book every night, wrote about my feelings, and talked to my boyfriend. Those things helped me get through the more difficult moments. A couple of days were stressful due to a few car-related issues. Our rental car got broken into, and someone took one of our backpacks. I’m relieved to say that we were all okay, and we still had the important stuff with us. We got a different rental car after that. 

I got back from the trip, and the rest of the summer was busy. I had a summer internship, so I was busy with a few projects, and I was having meetings with the other interns. It was very eventful, I learned a lot, and I put in more effort to meet and talk to people. I felt like I was being myself without putting on an act, and it was great. 

During my internship, I had to prepare for the fall. I’m starting a doctoral program in neuroscience, so I had to get a lot of forms signed, meet people, and do orientations. I officially start tomorrow, and I’m equal parts nervous and excited. I’m excited because I feel like I’ll learn a lot from this program. I’ll learn about research, but I also have a feeling I’ll learn about being confident in front of people, taking on leadership roles, and handling stress. I’m nervous because things are up in the air due to the virus. My university is still figuring out how to handle in-person classes, so no one really knows what’s going on yet. My plan is to structure my days in a way that works for me, and that requires being flexible, especially when things are up in the air like this. I’m also nervous because I don’t know how much of a time commitment this will be, and I’m hoping I won’t burn out. I hope scheduling in self care will help me. 

Sometimes I feel hopeless when it comes to moving out of my parents’ house and dealing with some of their toxic behaviors, and that feeling can be so powerful. However, I try to focus on the steps I’m taking now in order to move out in the future. I’m trying to do more on my own and save my money so that I’ll be in a good place to move out. I remind myself that I have people to support me (including all of you!), which helps so much. I also try to relax and extend self-compassion. 

There has been so much change and uncertainty in my life, and it’s been overwhelming. There have been many high and low points in the past couple of months. But writing this made me realize that I’m definitely in a better place than I was a year or even two years ago, and I’m proud of myself because I’ve grown a lot. 

This is a pivotal moment, and I want to see what else is in store for me. 

Join the Conversation


  1. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi Music2799!
    It’s always nice to hear updates! I see so many positives which is so inspiring! I am excited for this new chapter in your life! I’m glad to see that you are making use of self care techniques & applying them. Keep taking things one day at a time. I can see how all these changes would cause you to feel uncertainty, & overwhelmed. Sometimes when making a change, even the smallest one, could stir up a whole bunch of emotions, or feelings, when this happens, don’t allow anything to hinder you from going after your goals & dreams! It’s got to be a good feeling to look back over your life & say that you’re in a better place than a year ago. Keep on keeping on! You have come so far! You deserve the best & I believe in you!

  2. bbbmjohnson Volunteer

    Thank you so much for sharing! You are so strong and have been through so much. Please use all the resources that are available to you and keep us updated. You are amazing!

  3. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Music2799,

    Thank you for coming back with an update. Glad to hear that the majority of the trip was fun and relaxing. Sorry to hear that a bag was stolen, that must have been frustrating. Sounds like the internship was a great learning experience! Congratulations on starting a doctoral program, that’s really impressive. It sounds like you have a good mindset about how to deal with feeling hopeless. So glad to hear you are in a better place, we are proud of you too! Excited to see what is in store for you as well.

    Stay strong,

  4. Lex Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for sharing with us again! I am glad to hear that most days on your trip were relaxing, and on the days that were more difficult, you were able to find things to do to get you through it. Congratulations on your internship and I am wishing you all the best in your doctoral program. This will be such an exciting chapter for you! It sounds like you are planning and structuring your days well to ensure that everything works for you and are able to have some self-care moments to avoid burnout. University can be a challenging time, especially right now with COVID, it is making everything quite difficult, but you are doing the best you can with the amount of information given to you!

    I am glad that writing this message was able to allow you to realize that you are in a better place now than last year. You should be so proud of yourself!

    Please share with us whenever you like, we are always here for you! Have a great semester!
    – Lex

  5. amilne9 Volunteer

    Dear Music2799,

    Thanks so much for checking in! I am so happy to hear that your trip went well for the most part, but I am sorry to hear about the difficulties with your car. I am just glad you all are okay, that is really scary! Also, that summer internship sounded like an amazing opportunity! That’s great that you got a chance to showcase your skills and work on something your passionate about, I’m happy you enjoyed it. Starting your new doctoral program, WOW! That is so so exciting, I know how nervous you must be feeling, but I think that you’re going to do great! So proud of you! You will get to wear you want to be one day, you are getting closer and closer every day, just keep working hard and focusing on your goals. It was great hearing from you and please feel free to update us again soon and let us know how the program is going! Sending positivity and healing your way.

    Much Love,
    Ari <3

  6. morganndelacruz Volunteer

    Hi Music2799,

    I am so happy that your trip went great first of fall and you discovered some time within that vacation to take care of yourself as well. You should just be thankful that you had all the important things with you at the time. Please accept my apologies for some events that occurred during your travels. You should be proud and I am just so happy all these things are coming together for you and I know that must have been satisfying, but you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself, I am aware you need to learn to balance college and internships in multiple ways you did not think. Keep yourself in good health. Update us whenever you are ready: we’ll all be here as soon as you do:)

  7. Neesha Volunteer

    I’m glad you found moments to take care of yourself during the trip. That is scary to have your rental broken into! What a relief that you all still had the important things. How nice you got to be yourself during the internship, we spend a lot of time at work and it can be exhausting if we are acting the whole time. How exciting to start a doctoral program! Yes with the pandemic and the unknowns with the virus you aren’t going to know what is happening with classes. It is okay to be nervous, it’s normal. You are doing the right things by trying to stay flexible, self care, save money, and relying on others. I am so excited for you and all the big life changes coming your way! It is overwhelming and that is tough and also such a human experience.
    Thanks for keeping us updated!

  8. tolleytn Volunteer

    I’m glad to hear that your trip went well! I’m sorry you had a few bumps along the road but I’m so glad that everyone is okay. It seems like you were able to turn this misfortune into something positive and that just shows how strong of a person you are!

    I’m so excited for you to start your neuroscience doctoral program! You have to be one smart cookie to be attending such an intensive program.

    I understand that big life changes can be a bit overwhelming and daunting at times. I just went through one of these periods myself. It only goes up from here! We’re all super proud of you. <3

    – Tiff

  9. Brooke Volunteer

    music2799 thanks for sharing. Wow neuroscience is incredible! Congratulations! What an incredible journey you’re about to start. Your feelings of nervousness are very valid. Between school, covid, and what you’ve been through its normal to be having these kinds of feelings. It sounds like you’ve come such a long way though and should be very proud. During school be sure to take care of yourself. Put aside some time for self care activities that help ground you. Whenever feeling hopeless just remember how far you have come. Your success rate has been 100% so far. That’s something I always love to remember when I’m feeling hopeless or discouraged. I’m glad you were able to update us and as you know you have many people here who support you!

  10. aegardiner Day Captain

    Hi music2799,

    It is so good to hear from you again. I am glad that your trip turned out well, aside from the car break in. It sounds like the summer has been very busy for you and congratulations starting the neuroscience program. I don’t blame you for wondering how the semester will go with COVID uncertainty still a concern. Hopefully the faculty have figured out how to accommodate for lack of in-person classes by now so that you won’t feel like you’re missing out to much. Still, I know that virtual learning is not the same. Whenever I had to take an occasional course online it was never as good as the in-person option. It sounds like you are keeping a positive attitude and looking forward to the future – that will help you get through the challenges that you may face. Looking forward to hearing how the semester goes and continue to take care of yourself!

  11. kr1510 Volunteer

    Hey music2799,
    Thank you so much for updating us on what is going on in your life and how you are doing personally. It sounds like you needed sometime for yourself to reset. Definitely try to plan out times throughout the week to have some self care. Even if its for 20 minutes one night reading a book or treating yourself to your favorite meal. I would give myself 20 minutes each night to just take a moment to sit down and watch an episode of a tv show that I have already seen to help me decompress from the long day of science classes and that truly helped me. Having the little moments in-between your classes, research or projects can help you from burning out and feeling overwhelmed.
    Please feel free to come back and update us. You got this!
    Much love,

  12. t3nnis_player18 Volunteer

    Hey music2799
    Thank you so much for updating us on your life! It sounds like you have many new and exciting things in store for you and are having a good time progressing in your life! I’m glad your trip was mostly relaxing except for the break in which sucks, but I’m glad no one was hurt and nothing of extreme value or importance was stolen. I’m also excited for you starting a doctoral program in neuroscience! That is so impressive and exciting! Nerves are normal for those types of changes, but I’m sure you will do great and learn so much! Hopefully your university can figure out a way for you to safely learn and gain experience without risking covid exposure, but I know that is easier said than done. I am proud of you for making these big steps in your life including moving out of your parents’ house despite the uncertain feelings and their behaviors. Incorporating self care into your routine seems to have helped you a lot and I encourage you to continue to do so! I’m glad you seem to be doing well and are progressing through your life! We will always be here for you to encourage you through this exciting journey you are on! Stay strong and keep moving!

  13. adrian Volunteer

    Hey, music 2799-

    It sounds like your trip and internship were productive and fruitful! What a great way to transition between the summer and autumn. Neuroscience will be a tough subject to handle, but you are doing the right things to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. The awkward phase for a lot of universities is this year- trying to figure everything out. You’re strong and brave to be part of that process, especially during your first year. We’re looking forward to more updates from you to see how your first year goes, if you can find the time! It sounds like you are already thinking about keeping your health a priority- scheduling in time for yourself amidst everything that is going on and changing (for you personally) is important!

    Grant yourself the mercy, time, and space to move through this transition. Keep working on your focus for the steps you need to take to keep your vision of life in line and progressing. I see your growth, even just in this post alone (and across the others you’ve shared here with us!). Keep fighting the good fight!

    Take care,

  14. bbbmjohnson Volunteer

    Wow! You have come so far. Thank you for updating us on your life. That is amazing. With all you have gone through it is amazing that you can stand proudly where you are today.
    Thank you for sharing!

  15. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi music2799,

    Thanks for updating us! I’m glad your trip went well. It’s good that you got some time to yourself and you took advantage of it – that is so important and I’m sure it helped to make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.

    Your internship and neuroscience doctorate program sound amazing! You work so hard and I love hearing your accomplishments. I’m happy that you’ve made a plan ahead of time. It’s really important to schedule your time so you don’t get overwhelmed later on!

    Please keep us updated. You’re going to do incredible things! Keep your head up 🙂


  16. sarahj Volunteer

    Hey music2799,

    Welcome back – thanks for sharing an update! I’m glad you were able to take time for yourself on your trip to check in and keep yourself in a positive headspace. Also, very glad to hear you were able to feel like yourself while creating new relationships during your internship. Being authentically yourself is so freeing!

    I can understand how your doctoral program can feeling intimidating or overwhelming — especially with not truly knowing what the structure will be right now with Covid-19 back on the rise. Be proud of yourself for recognizing these feelings and thoughts and being proactive in how to care for yourself during that time. Sure, some stress can be good stress… but insurmountable stress can ruin a lot of opportunities. Be sure to always check in with yourself and meet your needs to stay above water. You got this!!

    Lastly, I hope once you are able to move out of your parents’ home that you will find some solace and peace. Maybe you might even be able to mend your relationship with them with the much needed space. Until then— keep your head up & remember you do have so much support behind you!

    You are doing remarkable things. Don’t forget that.

    Take care,

  17. Caitlin Volunteer

    I am glad the vacation was doable and you used many tools to stay in a good place throughout.

    Sounds like a very busy summer with lots of learning and growing! That’s so amazing! Really pushing your comfort zone on talking to people builds confidence!

    There is so much unknown right now for all of us (no one escapes it these days for sure) so know that you are not alone. Just remember the line is very thin between excited and nervous! Your body hardly knows the difference so you get to help chose how you want to proceed!

    I love to hear how much writing is helping you not only grow, but also how far you have come! What a beautiful gift!

    Take things a day at a time as things are changing so quickly. You are doing it!


  18. JudithT Volunteer

    Hi music2799,
    Thanks so much for sharing this update with us! I’m glad you were able to find time to yourself to help get through the tough times during your trip. And I’m so happy for you with the internship experience–it sounds like you worked hard, and it always feels so awesome when you can genuinely be yourself when meeting people. It makes sense that you’re feeling both excitement and nervousness about your doctoral program, and I hope your first days went well! I also hope you can take care of yourself and continue to prioritize what you need and what’s best for you. You’ve been able to do so much throughout these overwhelming times–you totally deserve to feel proud of yourself and the growth you’ve achieved. Good luck with everything, you’ve got this! And of course you can always come back to update us any time you want, we’ll always be here for you.

  19. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hey Music

    I am glad you had a great trip. I know going on trips with family can be stressful and it is great to see everything turned out okay for the most part. I am happy you are in a doctorate program as well. That sounds really cool and I know it can be stressful. Wish you the best and we are here to the support you and will be here for you!

  20. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    I’m glad to hear you had a great trip! I know that going anywhere with your family can be stressful so it’s great to see that everything turned out okay (aside from the car break in, that sounds stressful!)

    I’m excited for your doctoral program starting! That’s so cool! I can definitely understand how stressful it can be going back to school in a pandemic but I know you will do a great job and handle it well. I know moving out can be stressful too but it sounds like you are taking great steps to have a brighter future. I also like how you said you are going to structure days it sounds like you are being proactive and taking control of things. We are here to support you and will be here for your next update, stay safe!

  21. brookeA Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    It’s great to hear from you again! I’m glad that you had a good trip and that you are okay after that car break-in. I’m also happy to hear that you were able to be yourself at your summer internship, and it sounds like you learned a lot. Congrats on starting a doctoral program in neuroscience- very impressive! Scheduling in self care is a great idea :). I hope that you’re able to move somewhere you feel comfortable and that things continue to get better for you. You definitely deserve to be proud of yourself, and I’m so glad that you’ve shared a lot of your journey with us. I’m excited for you, and I wish you the best!

  22. musicislove

    Hi music2799,

    I’m so happy that you are in a better place now than you were before, that is always a really great feeling. I hope you love the doctoral program that’s a lot of work and it makes sense that you have some worries, but I’m wishing you the best and hope that it’s a really good experience for you. I love that you’re going to prioritize self care. I know the toxicity at your parents’ house is hard on you and I hope that doing more things for yourself and on your own is helpful while you’re in this period of preparing so that you’ll be set and stable when you can eventually move out. I’m glad that even though there were some stressful parts of your trip, that you also had many moments that you enjoyed! Meeting family friends can be so awesome and good food is always a plus. I’m sorry your rental car was broken into but I’m glad everyone was safe. Wishing you so much luck in this phase of your life and look forward to future updates!


  23. jcastle38 Volunteer

    Hi there,

    I’m glad to hear an update from you! I’m glad you kept busy this summer and I hope this internship goes good for you it seems as it will be very rewarding! I am so happy to hear that you are feeling like yourself, definitely making time for some self-care is essential! I know change can feel overwhelming but it can often be good! I can’t wait to see what else is in store for you and continue to hear updates from you in the future! Sending you lots of love keep going you’re doing great!!

  24. ajklessig Volunteer

    Hi music2799,
    I am glad that your trip (for the most part), went well! It is great that you tried to make the most of the time you had for yourself!
    Wow! A doctoral program in neuroscience sounds amazing! Good luck starting, I am sure you are going to do amazing! Feeling both nervous and excited is definitely normal. I am sure it will just take some time and you will settle in. That is great that you are thinking and planning ahead to move out! Saving money is a great step in the right direction.
    I am so happy to hear that you recognize your growth and progress in the past year or two. You should be proud! I can’t wait to hear about all your success going foward!

  25. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi music2799,
    I’m so happy to read your update! I’m sorry to hear about your rental car getting broken into. Hopefully if you didn’t already, you will get the bag back. It’s good to hear that the rest of your trip and summer was good. Good luck and congratulations on starting your doctoral program! That is so exciting! Hopefully your school can figure out what their Covid plan is soon. Don’t let that feeling of hopelessness over power you. You are so strong and like you said you have grown so much in a year. When you get that feeling you just have to remind yourself you are amazing and you aren’t hopeless. You have over come so much, you are so strong, you have helped yourself in so many ways, and you are not hopeless! Continue to stay strong! We are always here for you! Thank you for updating us. It was great to hear from you!

  26. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hey music2799,

    You should be proud of yourself! Reading this, it definitely seems like you’re in a good place. Though you may be nervous and overwhelmed, you’ll figure it all out. As someone who has been through a doctoral program, I can tell you that feeling nervous, intimidated, and overwhelmed is normal and you’ll probably feel it throughout your time in the program. But the wonderful thing is that you’re simultaneously growing, learning, and becoming more confident. I think it’s great that you’re taking all these positive steps while still prioritizing your self-care and personal needs. Take advantage of the flexible schedule of a doctoral program and make time for yourself so you don’t get burnt out. Good luck!


  27. colton95 Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing! I’m really glad that you are in a better place and looking at yourself in a better light. I hope that things will continue to improve for you and that you will be okay in general.

  28. chompyapple1 Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thanks for updating us with your journey. It is so great to hear that you’re on a trip and have been enjoying it so far. It is also great to hear that you feel stronger and better than before and taking care of yourself. Congratulations on starting your doctoral program, I wish you luck on that. Continue to have fun and make strides in your life. We are so proud of you. Stay safe.

  29. karinakalke Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for updating us. I was so glad to hear about all the good things from your trip! Taking some time for self care seems like a great idea, especially since you’ve had such a busy summer. It’s important to take time for yourself. I’m glad to know that things are going better. As you know, we’re always here for you. I’m looking forward to your next update.

    Sending love and support,

  30. nancylog Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thanks for sharing your feelings with us, I’m glad you feel you are stronger than before. Congratulations on starting the doctoral program,
    It is good that you are in control of your self, it’s ok to feel overwhelmed as you are going through many changes and virus does not make it
    easy. Just keep focused and give it some more time, and don’t forget we are here to support you.

  31. Thomas Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thanks for updating us. It sounds like things have been very busy for you. As challenging as certain aspects of that have been, I think you’re doing a wonderful job. You’re focusing on what’s in your control, you’re taking care of yourself, and you are continuing to move forward. Congratulations on your doctoral program. That’s awesome! Change can be hard, especially during a pandemic. But I know you’ll do an awesome job. Keep going! You’re on the right path. Stay strong.

  32. silverliningsunshine Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for taking the time to update us! I am so thrilled to hear about all the highlights of your trip and hope these moments outweighed any difficulties you encountered with the car issues. And I am so happy to hear that during your internship that you didn’t feel like you had to put on an act; that is an amazing feeling when you can just be yourself!

    Congratulations on starting your doctoral program in neuroscience, that is an incredible achievement! I studied neuroscience during undergrad but to study it on a doctoral level sounds amazing. It’s definitely a strange transition to get into academia especially because of the pandemic, but things are definitely shifting, but as you mentioned, scheduling self-care is crucial! I am wishing the absolute best for you this year, and the AVFTI team is rooting for your success! Please feel free to update us at any time.

  33. Breanna Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thanks for sharing an update with us! Wow, it definitely sounds like you’ve been crazy busy! I’m glad you were able to find pockets for yourself on your trip to decompress and have some you-time. I can totally understand how starting classes for a doctoral program is stressful enough, and then the pandemic-related concerns that also exist. There’s a lot of change going on! I have some friends who are in doctoral clinical psychology programs, and I think what you’re planning (scheduling self care time) will be really beneficial. I know someone who said that a weekly pottery class was helpful to decompress, so I hope scheduling some of that time helps you as well! I’m so glad to hear that overall, you’re in a much better place. Keep your head up 🙂

    Sending love and support,

  34. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hey music2799!

    I’m so glad to hear this update. It sounds like there really has been a lot of good coming your way recently, and you deserve it. You definitely had a busy summer, but it sounds like you’re getting the hang of scheduling in self-care and self-soothing time. I think that’ll be super helpful during your semester, also! Change really can be overwhelming, so take a little extra time for yourself while everything is in transition. I’m so glad to hear you’re in a better place than in the recent past. We are always here for you!

  35. rachelb098 Volunteer

    Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing! Reading your post, I was impressed with how much insight you have. It seems like you have a solid grasp on how you’ve been feeling about things and what will help you feel better. That takes a lot of self awareness which is a powerful skill to have. Your plan to make time for self care and reminding yourself of your support system sounds like a great one, and one that will be very beneficial during this overwhelming time. Wishing you the best of luck with everything!


  36. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for coming back and sharing these updates with us. So exciting that you are starting a PhD program! I am currently getting my PhD-if I can offer some help, I would say definitely schedule in time for breaks, try to get a supportive advisor if you can, and if you have a graduate worker union, join it. My union is what kept me in graduate school. Happy to offer more advice as you proceed. Glad you are doing better, and you should be proud! Revel in that.


  37. Starling Volunteer

    Hi music2799,
    Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. I’m sorry that you’re still stuck with your parents for now. I’m in a similar situation, so I can understand the hopeless feeling of seeming trapped there. My advice is to keep saving up as much as you can and to think about some possible future options like where you might be able to go to later down the line. I personally like to go on Zillow and look at houses to get an idea of where I want to move and what kind of places are usually available. It helps me to feel excited for the future instead of upset about where I am at the moment. As for everything else, I’m glad that things went okay with your trip and that you have a game plan for your doctoral program. That must be exciting to be starting research and learning those important skills. I hope your program goes well and you have a great experience with it. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.