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Earlier this week, I had one of those days where it felt like everything was happening at once. I was scrambling to get my homework done, my work load completed, pay attention to my very demanding six-year-old daughter, and take care of my mom. In those moments, I felt like I needed three clones of myself. Because I was so overwhelmed, I was on the verge of crying.

During these high-tension moments, which seem to happen more frequently since being in school, I tend to find myself feeling incredibly alone in my struggle. I don’t have too many friends that have children yet, so it’s hard for me not to feel alienated and let anxiety hijack my life. But it’s also in these moments that I grow the most.

I always come out stronger on the other side.

One of the most grounding things for me is to remember that I’m not alone. I’m not the first person to ever be in my situation, and I’m certainly not going to be the last. CU Denver, and Auraria Campus in general, is an especially wonderful environment to be in, because so many other people here are dealing with the same things, or close to them. All of us are working our asses off to be here and get an education, and that sense of solidarity constantly inspires me to keep going.

Despite my daughter sometimes being emotionally taxing, she is the main motivating factor behind me being in school. I came back because I wanted something more for myself, and for her, so I could provide a better life for her, and it’s important to remember that, too. Even though I sometimes feel like I might actually collapse under the weight of my stress, my all-pink-wearing, R2D2-loving daughter helps me muster the strength to keep on keeping on, and I always come out stronger on the other side.

—Aubrey Houdeshell

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