Coming Out on Top: Four Things I Learned from Loss

“Though there’s no one there to guide you
No one to take your hand
But with faith and understanding
You will journey from boy to man “- Phil Collins’ “Son of Man”

Loss is an inevitable thing– it doesn’t just have to be death– it could be a loss of personal valuables, job, people moving on, loss of a sporting game, end of a journey, etc. Here are a few lessons I have learned from loss, as I just experienced one myself. It was tough, as any loss is, especially, when this thing or this  person has been ritualized. What I mean by ritualized is that you have been deeply attached to a person or thing because of the intensity or duration of exposure so much so that it would be unfathomable to think about losing this person or thing. It will hit you hard if you do end up losing this person or thing. Here is my story and lessons I learned from it.

I just lost a friend through him moving on in life in a ceremony called college graduation. He graduated June 2016. I spent all my time with him for 2 years (or in college years) 4 semesters together. This will be be my first in four semesters that I will be without this guy. Shed some tears for two nights.  No joke. I’ll see him of course he lives not to far away from where I live and go to college, but it would be hard as we are both busy. He has a life and I have one too (in college for one more year).It’s been ritualized. I’m already used to him being there–my partner in crime and role model– that is will be tough to go back to school Monday without this him. He was the friend who saved me. You can read more about him here: https://apexliving1.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/the-friend-who-saved-me/.

If you don’t feel like reading that post, here’s a summary, he saved me academically because I had no specific goal to achieve, but now I had a goal. I was determined to get on the Dean’s list and Alpha Kappa Delta, just like him. I worked my butt off and asked for help from professors and students. I was determined to be like him. My hard work succeeded and I have been on the Dean’s list for three semesters and am on AKD. I am like him. He recently graduated with Magna Cum Laude and, well, that’s my next goal. And I finally had a friend at college, not just fleeting acquaintances.

Now, going into a new year– my last year. Everything is different and it’s scary and tough. While some may argue that there are things called cell phones, it doesn’t replace an actual person being present.

But, contemplating about this loss, I learned several things and I wish to share it with you. It can be applied to any type loss– it doesn’t just have to be death– it could be a loss of personal valuables, job, people moving on, loss of a sporting game, end of a journey, etc. First, the best way to deal with loss is to make something good out of it. For me, it was helping underclassmen and friends who need help by passing the lessons he taught me on to them. In hopes that they will benefit from it and lead successful lives. To extrapolate, a sports player can teach others not to make the same mistake that led to the downfall of the game. Second, continue a ritualized tradition you have had prior to the loss. Or if none could be found, find a similar tradition to replace the one prior to the loss. For me, it was to continue to strive for academic excellence– as we both did– and continue doing WMNJ college radio –an extracurricular activity we both did together. To extrapolate, a sports player can continue the work ethic and dedication prior to the loss. Third, talking about it with others and thinking– not dwelling on it– will you move on and start a new chapter in your life. I talked about it with friends and contemplated about it and I look forward to a new chapter in my life. As with our sports example, talking about the loss of a sporting game can help the team move on and conquer many wins, instead of dwelling on the loss.  Lastly, there is no right or wrong way to go through a loss.

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One thought on “Coming Out on Top: Four Things I Learned from Loss

  1. You really care about this guy. Great read. He will definitely be in your life and if he’s not as much, that sucks but everything happens for a reason. You’ll make effort, he’ll probably make effort. You’re lucky to have such a great friend.
    -FA

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