Break ups are literally the worst. I don’t care if you’re the dumper, the dumpee or if it was “mutual.” I don’t care if you weren’t even technically dating. It still counts as a breakup, and it is still the worst. Basically you’ve been living your life one way for the last year or two years or three months, and then you have to go and change all of that. You can’t go to that restaurant on “O” Street because it was “your place” and you might run into him. You don’t know if it’s okay to still be close with his mom because she’s amazing. You can’t even walk onto your campus without breaking out in hives because you just had to go and date someone who has the same major as you. It all sucks. But the part that sucks the most is figuring out what’s next.
I remember the first really truly bad breakup I ever had was the summer after my freshman year of college. I had spent so much of freshman year spending time with this guy and his friends that I kind of forgot to make any college friends of my own. I felt so lost. I had all of these things planned, even things in the near future that I didn’t really know what to do with myself. That’s when my mom (bless her) sat me down and gave me some solid advice. “Just get up and move on,” she told me after I had spent the day throwing a pity party for myself on the couch.
That tidbit of advice might sound harsh to some people, but hear me out for a second. Broken hearts obviously don’t heal overnight, but the thing about broken hearts is that they DO heal eventually. The only thing that really cures a broken heart is some time and perspective. Which, ugh, is the most cliched piece of advice ever. But maybe it’s a cliche because it actually works.
Nineteen-year-old Molly rolled her eyes and got ready for work. I spent the summer working like 50 hours a week at a local pool selling concessions and a mini-golf course because I literally had nothing better to do. I was working so much that I ended up losing some weight (on accident even!) and I was spending so much time outside for work that I got a killer tan. After a few weeks of forcing myself to try and forget everything and fake having fun, I actually started to have fun again. Sure it hurt when I saw via social media how “happy” he was with his new lady, and it hurt for a while. But I went from miserable to functioning, and you can too. By the end of the summer some cute lifeguard boys were telling me to hang out with them the next semester when we were all back in college. I finally felt something that I didn’t think I would ever feel again. Butterflies.
Moving on doesn’t mean getting over it. It means just allowing yourself to breathe. I wallow, of course. I still do when things aren’t working out like I thought they would. But now, I give myself like a week to really feel sorry for myself. And then I just get up, dust myself off and get back up.
Molly is a senior journalism/English major at a school you haven’t heard of in a state you haven’t heard of. She’s obsessed with Chandler Bing, English bulldogs, and cheese. Follow her on twitter @mollymahannah, or check out her website accordingtomolly.com.