Column: Taking care of yourself can mean losing people

Karina Delgado, Opinions Writer

This summer has been different for me. Throughout the last couple weeks, I have been reflecting on my past at EIU and everything that has happened in between.

My time here at EIU is finally coming to an end this December, but I don’t know how I feel about coming back to campus this fall.

It is not because of COVID-19, not because I’m “over” EIU, not because I am dreading school, but because I am unsure who I will have when I return to campus.

Of course, I have The Daily Eastern News staff and my significant other, but that is all the friends I have. I am trying to accept this.

I am going through the five stages of grief. Currently, I am in stage four: depression.

You see, throughout my years here at EIU, it seems like I have joined every single activity Eastern has to offer. I did it all.

There is one that changed me forever. I was in a RSO that was my life, my everything. I was so proud to be in it but it took my time away and was a toxic environment.

I took an opportunity to leave virtually when COVID hit. I could not handle it anymore and I left.

I left my identity. I left my friends. When this past year started, I still had my “friends” who were in this RSO. Each person left the friendship one by one.

I can’t say I blame them because it was up to me, too, but I became a bad friend because I could not handle the toxic energy.

I left for a reason and all these friends did was report back to me on what happened. Friends are supposed to be more than this. My last “friend” left this past spring semester; we both left each other. I moved on. I did not want to be mistreated any longer.

I had countless opportunities to join the group again. I thought about it all the time. At some point, I was going to join back.

Before I took the step forward my gut told me to stop it. How could I join back to a toxic environment after it destroyed me, belittled me, and I talked major smack about? It was hypocritical of me.

It reminded me of a breakup, but this was harder than any breakup I’ve gone through. Why take something back when it hurts you so much?

I hope to be in the acceptance stage by the time I start fall semester. It is going to be hard to not really have anyone especially for my last semester of college.

I am proud of myself for not going back to a toxic environment that would have made me a toxic person.

I keep growing from this situation and feeling more content about being by myself every day. I can’t wait to see the person I become after I heal.

Karina Delgado is a senior English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]