Jan 5, 2013

Posted by in New, Personal | 30 Comments

How the Book Blogging Community Saved Me

This is one of the few personal posts that I have written on the blog, but I felt like it was necessary for me to express how thankful I am for the blogging community. Last semester I started my first semester in college. It was one of those times that I had looked forward to my whole life, yet also felt so nervous about. I’m extremely close to my family and am one of those people who does not deal well with change, so moving away from home was very hard on me. I knew that this was something almost every teen has to go through after high school, so I put on my “big girl shoes” and tried to acclimate to college life.

Let’s just say nothing went as planned. My roommate was a person that I was confident I would get along with and share the highs and lows of our first year together. Unfortunately, that did not happen at all and we turned out to be complete opposites. It was extremely hard for me to live in that environment and I struggled daily for weeks with my situation. My roommate was not a horrible person in the least, but I just couldn’t live with her. Every thing she did drove me crazy and I started to get very unhappy. When I went to my RA about possibly changing roommates, all hell broke loose. A situation occurred along with another girl who had similar roommate problems that was handled in the worst way possible. It was then that I started to feel like I couldn’t live there anymore. I wanted free of the dorms. I wanted to go home and run away from it all. But I couldn’t. That’s not how life works when you’re officially an “adult”.

At the same time my living situation was going downhill, school wasn’t going much better. Sure, I loved most of my classes, but the one I could not get through was Chemistry. Yet I knew I had to if I ever wanted the chance of becoming a Pharmacist. But I just couldn’t. No matter what I did, I didn’t understand anything in that class. Every day that I had to get up and go to Chemistry I hated life. I knew I wouldn’t have a chance of passing the class so what was the point? I have never failed a class before but it was at this point that I decided that this would be the first time I would.

I basically had a break down at this point. I had no idea what to do. Nothing was going right. I was failing at life. I was never going to become a Pharmacist or be able to live on my own. Reading a book didn’t help. No matter how hard I tried to really get into a book, it was almost impossible with all the problems on my mind. Before, reading had been a way to escape from reality and live someone else’s life for a moment and get away from whatever problem I may have been dealing with at that time. But in the early months at college, that wasn’t a possibility. I couldn’t do it. I barely got through a book a week, and when I did, it was usually pretty hard for me to get as deeply involved in them as I used to. I was feeling so lost.

But you know what kept me from spiraling into a deep depression and giving up? The blogging community. While I couldn’t go home and get away from college and dorm life on the weekdays, I could go to my blogger friends and get the support I needed from them. Whenever I was feeling so down in the dumps, one tweet to bloggers and I would get a flood of support that uplifted me and got me through the day. I cannot tell you guys how much that helped. I felt so much love and friendship and kindness from the blogging community, fellow author friends and from you, my readers. Jenny, Grace, Lauren, Erin, Tonya, Mary, Jen, Espe, Miranda, Vy, Julie, Jamie, Rachel, Angela, Candace, Stacey, Ellie, Jodi, Lisa, Laura, Janet, and so so many more of you each helped me in a big way. I cannot express enough my sincere gratitude to you all for helping me get through such a dark time in my life.

What also helped me? All the YA author events that I had the chance to attend last semester. Every one of these events lifted me up and made me feel so good inside. All of the authors that I got to meet/see again who had such kind words about me made me feel complete. 90% of my happiest moments in the worst of times occurred because of those authors. You know who you are. icon smile How the Book Blogging Community Saved Me

It was during one of these author events that I realized that I could be happy. I just had to follow my dreams and do what I love, get to work with the people who I love, to be complete. Yep, I decided to pursue a career in publishing. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I thank you bloggers and authors for helping me realize it.

Now I am in a much better place. I made the decision to go to a college that allows me to commute from home and also happens to be where two of my best friends are attending. It is super close to Changing Hands as well which means I can go to so many more author events! Woo! I am super excited about the new opportunities headed my way and can’t wait to see what my future holds in store for me.

*Side Note: I did drop out of the evil Chemistry class before the first test. Also one of my wiser decisions.*

*Another Side Note: No mom and dad, I didn’t forget about your role in all of this. I have you two to thank for so, so, so much. I just wanted to make sure the blogging community knows that I appreciate what they did to help me get through the semester of hell.*


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  1. We love you, Bailey!

  2. BAILEY! *huge hugs* I’m so glad that it’s getting better and that you’re happy. And yay you for pursuing a career in publishing. You’re going to be awesome! I can’t wait to finally meet you at ALAMW!!! <3 you, Bailey!

  3. Thank you for sharing. Im very proud to belong to such an amazing community!!!!!

    Ps. I won’t forget how you lent your support my way when the fire xoxoxo xox

    • Yara! It truly is a special community! I love you guys!! And Yara, you are the kindest, sweetest, most giving person who didn’t deserve that at all. Of course I gave you as much support as I could! I am so glad things are getting better for you!!! This is your year, I feel it.

  4. Lisa and Laura says:

    You are an amazing person Bailey. I only hope that someday you’ll be our publicist or editor. I’m so happy that you’re following your dreams!!

    • Lisa and Laura, you two are the sweetest! I love you both! You had a hand in making me laugh more than I had in weeks. :) Also, I totally have dibs on being your publicist in a few years. Just a heads up. ;)

  5. What a great honest post! I am so glad things are better now! The book blogging community is the greatest! (and Chemistry is the worst…I can attest to that!). : )

  6. i found a link to your great on twitter. great post bailey. i can totally sympathize because i always seem to get paired with roommates that are complete opposites of me and it’s horrible. it was only in my senior year as an undergrad did i actually liked dorming because i finally got to room with friends.

    i am actually dreading this coming semester because i am back to dorming with strangers again (i’m currently pursuing my masters in library science). my roommates are 19/20 year old undergrad partiers (from all the empty beer bottles i found under their sink when i moved my stuff). i’m a 25 year old non-partier in grad school. sigh.

    glad to read that you’re in a much better place. enjoy your semester! :)

  7. BAILEY!!!!! I had no idea all this was going on, I’m so sorry your first semester of college has been such a struggle! I’m glad you had the support of this community though, there are so many amazing people here that just help put life in a little bit of perspective and allow me see a silver lining on those days when life is not going the way I’d like. I’m thrilled to know you’ve found the same comfort, and please know that I’m just a tweet or email away:) I’m so very excited for you, I know you’re going to be a monstrous success in the publishing world and I fully plan on embarrassing you with a very public display of affection when I see you at BEA this year. You’re welcome ;-) *massive hugs*

  8. I’m SO sorry you had to go through that. I just read Just One Day and when reading this post it made me think of it. Its really nothing like your experience but I guess it shows people have different experiences and trials. At least you discovered your true calling from it and I’m sure your life will be much happier because of it.
    I’m so with you about the community though. It seems like when anything exciting happens I’m running to tell my blogger friends. I think we are all more like minded and we just ‘click’. I was just telling my real life friend how supportive the blogging community has been for me. I also love knowing I literally have friends all over the world now. Pretty cool!
    I’m SO SO excited to meet you at the end of the month! We’re gonna have a blast!

  9. I’m so sorry the first semester of college was such a hard time. It’s hard because everyone sets it up in their minds as something that should be the best time of your life, and that makes it extra disappointing when it isn’t. It’s super brave of you to change your planned career path too. It’s best to do something that you’re passionate about. I always viewed a job as more of a financial means to an end and now I think that may have been the wrong way to go about it. I’d love to have a job that I was truly happy in.

    Here’s to 3 and a half blissful years of college!

    And go Devils!
    (I assume, at least).

  10. I’m so glad you’re happier Bailey! We love you so much! <3 -Willa

  11. That first year of college and being away from home was hard for me too, but it does get easier. I’m glad you had the book blogging community to help you. This was a good post to read.

  12. Reading this absolutely broke my heart, Bailey! You’re always such a happy person and just an overall inspirational blogger, I can’t believe this happened to you. I remember you telling me about your roommate on Twitter, but I had no idea you struggled so much this year! I’m so glad that you have a close circle of blogging friends that can help you out through thick and thin. *HUGS* You can do it, Bailey! I’m so thankful for this blogging community. Thanks for sharing this with us, Bailey, even if it was more on the personal side. This was definitely an eye-opener. :D

  13. So glad to hear that things are better for you now! Good luck with your new career choice! I’m sure you’ll be fabulous! :)

  14. It really sucks that you had such a hard time with things, but I am so glad that now you have found what you want to do and are in a much happier place. Good luck with everything. :)

  15. Bailey, girl, I just want to run over and give you a big old hug. And cookies. Cookies always help. I’m so sorry your first semester sucked and it sounds like you had to make some truly difficult choices. But they sound like they’re the right choices. Sometimes, the path you think will work just…doesn’t. I’ve been there and know what a hard realization it is when you realize your major life decision just isn’t working and you have to make hard choices to change. But it will come together for you. Sounds like it already is! *more hugs*

  16. Oh, Bailey. I’m so sorry it was such a tough time for you, but I’m proud of you for pushing through it, and so happy you have a supportive community that rallied around you. I’m a fan of you! Onward!

  17. I’m so glad that I’ve just found your blog! This post was really great and I’m so glad that you’re feeling better about it all now. There are some amazing bloggers out there and we are all so lucky to have each other!
    Thanks for sharing this! It’s nice to be able to read about other bloggers! <3

  18. Bailey, I’m so glad things are working out better for you now. I just graduated from uni this year and remember how challenging first year was for me so I can totally sympathize with your situation, especially with chemistry. I struggled with it too and had to drop physics – the other subject I wasn’t doing well in – and get tutored a bit to pull my marks up.

  19. I am so glad you decided to share this with us Bailey. :) I’ve been dealing with depression too, but I’ve found blogging really helps a lot. I’m glad you’re doing better!

  20. Bailey you rock! I’m so sorry to hear how hard your first experience in college went, I hate when school make you stay at a dorm room to start off and you never know who your going to be put with. The pressure that college puts on the young adults is a lot and I’ve been there and done that. Im so excited to hear about you going for a career in publishing and that you are at a college your comfortable with. Meeting you at ALA was awesome, you and your mom made me feel welcomed there with other bloggers who knew each other, I felt liked the odd one out :) If you ever need anyone to talk too Im a tweet and email away. Keep your chin up and reach for that goal I know you’ll get.

  21. Bailey you are the sweetest and I’m so glad you decided to follow through on your post! The blogger community is awesome and we are so lucky to be friends with many! I’m so glad you are in a better place and I can’t wait until I see you at the next event! XO

  22. I’m so happy for you, even though I am really sad that I wasn’t there to help you out. I’m so glad that you found support and decided to follow what you love. ^.^ I love chemistry so I can’t speak much for it being “evil”, heh heh, but it is so very hard and I am glad that you didn’t take that first test. I can only imagine how hard that test would’ve been. O.O But anyways, you deserve this better life, and I am always here if you need someone to talk to. I can’t wait to see you on the publishing side of things in the future. ^.^ Best of luck, and thanks for being so kind and awesome, especially after experiences that would’ve usually led to bitterness and such. <3

  23. Great post Baily! You are such a sweet young lady! Wishing you all the best!

  24. I can relate to getting stuck with someone you don’t have anything in common with. I’m glad you’re in a much better place and your post has enough insight to discern. Though horrible, I think that this experience taught you how to handle sticky situations like this and moving forward you’ll have a better grasp of yourself in case a similar situation comes up. Keep your chin up, consider experiences like this as a test.

  25. Aw… that was so nice to read. Glad things are going better for you now, Bailey! My first year of university was so hard for me, as well, and I almost gave up (actually, I also started out thinking I wanted to be a Pharmacist… until I decided that I also hated Chemistry!). I’m glad I didn’t though – I fixed my problems, like you, and was much happier for it!

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