The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Lessons learned the hard way

When we want something bad enough, many of us are willing to make sacrifices so we can see our wish come true.

For some of us, it’s waking up an extra ten minutes early so we can throw on something other than a T-shirt and sweats on our way to class in hopes of impressing a special someone. For others, it’s sacrificing those activities that we have taken for granted over the years, and implementing new practices that we would otherwise neglect to notice.

We adapt our lifestyles to accommodate those things that truly make us happy. Sometimes it’s for more personal reasons, other times it’s simply because we’re bored of how we prioritize our lives. In my case, and as ridiculous as this may sound, it was to win someone over.

I’ll be completely honest, I have never been one to wake up at 7 a.m. on Sunday mornings for church. The thought of dragging myself out of bed at that hour was worse than the hangovers I was often trying to overcome from the previous night. Every Saturday night I would go out with my friends, and on the nights I remained sober, would contemplate the idea of wandering across the street to the beautiful church at the corner of Mockingbird and Hillcrest. It never happened.

Overtime, I got bored of the same weekend festivities. Drink with friends before the bars, go to the bars and drink more, dance a little bit and maybe shoot some pool, and then go home and drink more and try to find food once 3 a.m. rolled around. As fun as these nights were, it quickly became obvious it was not a lifestyle I could run with forever. I needed a change, and I had finally rediscovered the motivation for such an adjustment.

One Saturday I went to my friends and told them I wanted to start going to church. As you can imagine, I was met with laughs and many forms of criticism. But in the end I convinced myself that I would go regardless of whose support I gained. So I decided the following week would be my first time back in church in nearly 12 years. I needed something new in my life, and was hoping that going to church would inspire me to readjust my somewhat chaotic lifestyle.

I had decided to take the plunge and subject myself to this entirely new and foreign world, and for once, I was terrified. It’s pretty hard to intimidate me, but stepping into the Highland Park United Methodist Church could rival even the most frightening haunted house. I took my seat in the back row and started to calm down. As the service started, I relaxed, and before I knew it, I was actually enjoying myself. My friend who came with me for moral support commented on how peaceful I looked.

Having the energy to wake up on Sunday mornings inspired even more changes. I no longer wanted to go out every single night of the week. I had no desire to save every cent and then blow it at happy hour. I started looking forward to quiet nights in, and dinners out with friends. The bar scene was fun, but I had put that part of my life on hold if I was serious about changing.

I was going to give up drinking all together. Part of it was for my own benefit. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I wanted to prove to myself that I could go out with my friends at night and not have to spend money on drinks in order to have fun and fit in with everyone else. I also wanted to do it because I knew it was one of my faults that was constantly being held against me.

Trying to impress someone inspired me to not only make positive changes in my lifestyle, but it made me appreciate what I already had. Meeting new people and being introduced to all sorts of new ideas helped me discover interests I would never stumble across in a bar. I knew I could cook, but my friends always wanted Kona Grill or Glorias. All of a sudden, people I would never think of cooking dinner for crowded around my table one night, and for once, the conversation didn’t revolve around drink specials, petty gossip or frat house drama.

Maybe in a sense I was trying to start over and reinvent myself. I never intended to abandon my old friends, but adding some new ones to the list certainly wouldn’t hurt. I thought at one point I could lead a double life, you know, live the crazy party girl lifestyle and also the studious stay at home type, but I cared way too much about this person to ever do that.

Yes, I still drink today, but it is no where near the extent to which I used to. I still go out on Saturday nights, but every Sunday morning I make it a priority to attend church. I can remain content with just staying in and watching a movie on a Friday night, and now, I can even convince my friends that they don’t need to get blacked out on a nightly basis.

I never lied about who I was, to myself or anyone else. Afterall, this guy new full well the habits I was guilty of, as well as how I spent my weekends. In the end, we realized we both had different agendas, and ruining our friendship wasn’t worth forcing a deeper connection between us.

This guy and I tried to make things work. Again, I was scared. I had wanted this for so long and now that I had the opportunity to really make it fail, it frightened me more than anything. I never wanted to be the one to admit it, but I knew the connection just wasn’t there. It ended just days later. I was scared of losing something I had worked so hard to achieve, and before I had even lost it, I knew it was gone. While it was one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had, it was also one of the hardest.

Nothing worthwhile was ever said to be easy, but this is definitely a fight I’m glad I stuck with.

Nicole Jacobsen is a junior journalism and advertising double major. She can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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