A few nights ago, I studied at the library for a few hours, came home overwhelmed by the amount of work I had left to do, walked into my room and started to cry. I cried because I didn't expect my last semester senior year to be this difficult, I cried because I probably won't graduate with honors like I wanted to, and I cried because... boys. Talk about pity party of one over here.
Finally unwinding after what seemed like copious amounts of homework assignments, and taking my mood to the next level with "listen-to-sad-songs-all-night," I sat in bed and did what college students seem to know best: got on Facebook. Scrolling through a news feed full of cat pictures, music videos and Cosmopolitan articles, I noticed that a friend had shared a link from Facebook Stories, a website the social media platform has created to reveal how Facebook has connected millions, and how it has made a major impact on our society.
The website featured a story of a young military couple, Kimmy Kirkwood and Will Stacey, detailing how the use of Facebook aided them in contacting each other while Will was deployed overseas. The story begins by illustrating a typical high school relationship. Girl likes boy; boy doesn't know girl exists, or vice versa. Pretty sure we've all been there, right?
"He was more of a bad boy back then, and I was a silly goody two-shoes who wore basketball shorts, sweatshirts and tennis shoes to school everyday," Kimmy wrote. "I put on my best moves, which, back then, were trying to connect with him on AOL Instant Messenger over the fact that we both owned rabbits."
Although I was personally an MSN fan, I know the feeling, as I'm assuming most of us do in our teen years. As the story continues, Kimmy takes us through a timeline of events, discussing how she refused Will's offer for a first date, when they finally became "Facebook official" after meeting at a college party years later, and how they dealt with the struggles of being unable to speak with one another for months at a time while Will was in Afghanistan. It isn't until halfway through this story that you begin to realize that the worst is to come.
"My world fell apart on Jan. 31, 2012," Kimmy wrote. "I was walking Otis before work when Will's dad called. He had been hit by an IED on patrol and was killed. After getting off the phone with him, I blacked out for a few minutes before calling my family. It was the worst phone call any of us had ever received. It was his mother's birthday, and just 54 days before he was supposed to return home forever."
After reading Kimmy's story of love and loss, I broke down into tears again. Here I was, moping around my apartment for details of my life that were so trivial in comparison to that of the hardships that some have to deal with daily. It had me thinking that next time I'm stressed out over too much French homework, or meeting a deadline for a project, I need to think of those out there like Kimmy, and even those moments in my own life, when I too have experienced tragedy. Caught up in your own mind, it can often be difficult to remember that "Hey, this isn't even that bad."
So the next time you feel like you're having a bad day, remember Kimmy, who opened up her heart to strangers across the world. Think of Dinyal New, whose story about how gun violence took the lives of both of her sons 19 days apart made headlines, or of those in Indonesia who lost loved ones to a recent volcano eruption.
Consider those who are battling wars every day, whether overseas, at home, emotionally or physically. But also do the best you can to remember the better parts of your life, as Kimmy does by using Facebook as an archive to look back at those special moments with Will. Remember that the world can only get better. When you're having a day like I did, believing there's no way you can get through it -- sit back, relax and breathe.