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Mental Health Mondays

Meet Gabrielle

Morgan Daniels

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My journey with mental health really began when my grandmother died in February 2015. Obviously mental health was something I knew about, but I don't think I gave mine much space before losing my grandmother. Her death just kind of unhinged my world and left this big hole. I left Cornell for two weeks because I just couldn't deal with classes, friends, and expectations. I went home for the funeral and then to CGIU in Miami before going back to school. While the time away was necessary, it also made adjusting back to life on the Hill harder. I ended up having to drop a class and withdrawing from another - things I, often a straight A student, was not used to or comfortable doing. But, my therapist, encouraged me to do so. The loss of my grandmother granted me the best gift I ever gave myself which was therapy sessions and just the ability to let go. Junior spring, the semester in which she passed, was my hardest at Cornell in more ways than one and I walked out of it with a 4.0 GPA. When the sun came out again, I learned that I was capable, that imposter syndrome had no place in my life, and that I needed to let go a little bit. I gave myself the space necessary to grieve my grandmother and the amazing force that she was in my life. In the process, I opened up the doors of growth and self-care. It mattered less to me what others thought of me and I wasn't afraid to say that I was getting counseling. I learned to be transparent about my struggles instead of bottling it all up. I learned that it's okay not to be perfect and I can drop a class or responsibility from time to time if my mental state warrants it. I learned who my real friends were and appreciate them for sticking by me during that time. I gave myself freedom to become the woman I wanted to be, a woman I knew my grandmother would be proud of.