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Let go of the bad stuff

The color of his skin is a color no artist could ever make. The sound of silence, while we waited on the floor of the dorm room for someone to come help, echoes in my ears. The smell of alcohol and pot lingers just outside of my nose. And after I see his dead face smiling at me, I wake up to realize it's just a dream, about a really bad day.

Last Wednesday, three years ago, was the worst day of my life. I was a resident advisor for the dorm I lived in, and I was responsible for a over 100 freshman girls...can you imagine the things I heard, saw and dealt with? I can't believe some of the things I dealt with, but they are all stuck with me.

It wasn't always so bad. Horror films at the theatre across town usually ended up with 20 or more girls sleeping in a room only fit for four. Video games, make overs, dancing, pizza parties, study groups and so many other things--we were like a family, the guys included.

And maybe that's why this one morning was so hard. I wasn't supposed to be on call, and I really wasn't in the mood to deal with underage drinking. I had two books to read at least 300 or more pages each before Monday afternoon, along with a paper I had neglected to write.

But of course, there I was at 2 am dealing with an underage drinking situation.

The next morning I got a call from my partner RA. She said, "Mallory, you need to come to the fourth floor. One of the boys isn't breathing." It was the room of one of the students we dealt with the night before. When I got to the room, there he was, and what I saw haunts my dreams to this day.

I never knew why he died until months later. The only thing I knew was that I did everything the 911 operator told me to do until help got there. I smelled whiskey on his breath as I came up from breathing three times in his mouth. I knew what his shirt felt like under my hands. And his brown eyes showing slightly from how they were cracked, were lifeless.

That day taught me how to look at life a lot differently. It taught me to appreciate each day a little more.

It taught me to take chances, because you never know when you'll get your last chance. And it taught me to trust that everything happens for a reason, even the bad stuff.

I also learned none of us have to hold on to that bad stuff, because it doesn't determine who you become, but rather how you deal with the bad stuff.

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