Bad days are universal and make the hours drag, all suffocating and heavy. These bad hours that make up the bad day bleed into a full week sometimes; this, too, is universal but still such a drag. Recently I experienced my most turbulent week since coming to college back in August, and this is saying a whole lot because August saw me as what one would consider a train wreck (in the privacy of my dorm room).

The problem with all the bad weeks I’d had up to this most recent Bad Week is that prior, I remained very quiet about it (in the privacy of my dorm room). In the past I’ve just gone about my day whilst my mind wandered from the homesickness to the crappy people around me to the cold food on my plate to the mosquito bites on my face and then gotten back the my shoebox dorm and sulked around.This Bad Week hit me pre-ongoing-conversation with a few high school friends, who were able to echo my precise thoughts.

I have always been a very private person, even when it comes to internal struggles, and I think that’s because I consider myself a fairly stable person: I can control my emotions and turn them into other things, harness them into external work that helps me feel better. But this week was a Bad Week, and nothing was working very well. Despite my dislike for Snapchat, I’ve kept the app because of a group I have with my friends from high school. One night after a long streak of conversation, I became very MIA. Hours later, I scrolled through the Reed?whereareyou’s and where’dshego’s and threw back some I’mfineI’mjusthavingamentalbreakdown’s. They saw right through me, of course, because sometimes high school is so trying that friendships become very firm and thus transparent. And then they did the weirdest thing: they opened up.

Everyone has bad weeks, even Bad Weeks. I was struck by something relieving, and it rose from each of them intermittently entering the group chat and telling the stories of their weeks: the nausea-induced drama performances, the expansive arcade shifts, the boy troubles–everything. Although I was far away from them and constantly made so very aware of that, I felt closer to them than I ever had. Before this, I was under the impression that my circumstance was purely and singularly mine and no one else’s. I finally grasped that letting others explain their issues in response to yours is extremely vital. They’re not trying to one-up you; they’re not trying to bum you out–they’re trying to relate to you, and that is, after all, what you’re looking for most of the time.

I realize, after putting this all to type, that it’s not that big of a deal for some people. Clinging on to others’ experiences to realize you’re not alone is a major point of growth that some people, naturally, grasp earlier than people like me. But people that are like me–when the truck hits them, and they realize that friends are more than a shoulder to cry or puke on or whatever–are just as mature.

And if not completely, they’re getting there, so cut them some slack, yeah? It’s probably their Bad Week.