Major: psychology (neuroscience)
Hometown: Rockford, IL
Although Grace’s battle with addiction gave way to some hard times her freshman year, she wants you to know that her recovery journey is not a sad story. Quite the opposite, actually.
“My professors told me to go to Big Red Resilience and Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC), and that’s what really changed the game for me,” says Grace. “I’m over 7 months sober now and am really passionate about helping others stay sober, too.”
Grace is now working with Big Red Resilience and CRC to champion recovery and destigmatize addiction for students across UNL. Grace especially wants to normalize the idea of getting sober in college. “I had never heard of younger people doing it—I’d always just thought ‘Oh, I’ll get sober later.’ You can get sober at any age!”
Big Red Resilience features addiction-specific (like CRC), well-being and mental health resources for students. Through her work Grace is striving to get those who are struggling with their mental health, addiction and substance use the comprehensive resources they need.
“It’s really cool to watch it come full circle—I’ve been helping amazing young people get sober, but at the same time I’m still working on myself and doing my program, too. You just have to trust the process.”
UNL Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) have also played a big role in Grace’s recovery. But Grace says that everyone, not just those struggling, should take advantage of this resource to check in with their mental health.
“CAPS was really critical in my recovery, but mental health is just really important in general—you’re not going to do yourself a disservice by going to seek extra help.”
All of these resources, Grace says, improve—and often save—lives. And while she’s proud of how far she’s come in her own journey, she’s equally as hopeful that her journey will inspire others.
“Hopefully, me getting sober can help other people realize, ‘Oh, well if she can do it, I can do it too.’”