Name: Zoe Jadan

Social Media Handle/Username: @zoejadann

Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: I was born in a small town in Mississippi, a place that can make you feel like anywhere else in the world is better. I grew up with parents who were wildly in love, a love that you look for your whole life and pray to live up to. My older brother and little sister were and still are vastly different than me, and I was lucky to have them. My brother was slightly problematic in our household, but he was fun, everyone wanted to know him, be friends with him. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to go to college, and I knew the only way to do it was by getting a scholarship. I spent so many years of my life being the “smart,” girl that who I was as a person diminished. I volunteered at libraries, was in every honors or AP class my school had to offer, and wanted nothing more to be an A student. After moving sophomore year of high school, I had one initiative: become a new person, but that new person was not better. I started drinking a lot, at first it was to fit in, but then I used it to feel better. I was lost and tried to find validation in others, including friendships and romantic relationships. I went through three tumultuous years of high school and after graduation I didn’t know if school really was my dream. After moving out on my own, I began taking better care of myself, because I was the only person I could rely on other than my family. I am now taking a break from school to rediscover myself and find what I am truly passionate about.

What Inspires You Every day? : My own future is my inspiration. Because I am working so hard in the present to get where I want to be, I allow what I envision for myself in the future to be what drives me.

What is some words of wisdom you live by?: In an episode of Gilmore Girls, a show I watched with my mom from the time I was eight years old all the way until now, Richard Gilmore says, “What she tackles, she conquers.”

What is your ultimate goal in life? : My main goal in life is to be a journalist whose focus is the small towns in the South that are unknown for their talent and businesses. This would be to hopefully change the narrative of what the South represents and generate more revenue for Southern locals. Along with this, I would love to write and direct screenplays to share stories with young women, letting them know they are not alone.

What are your thoughts on people who seek attention on social media, and what message would you like to give them? : I personally have sought attention on social media, in a generation where social media is a main source of self promotion, its not unlikely that other people have. I think it is important to recognize that who you are on social media and who you are in real life need to correlate. Don’t feel ashamed for sharing who you are or what you feel on your feed, but make sure you feel proud of it.

How would you help people around the world who are going through mental health problems? : There needs to be more access to healthcare globally, there are so many people, including myself, who have little to no access to therapy let alone medication. A multitude of young people with mental illness feel alone because they do not have people around them who are understanding of their issues. I believe that by sharing our stories, the highs and the lows, we can provide those with mental health problems a safe space or at least a sense of understanding.

How would you describe a better world for us all? : A better world would be one where we as people are not so self serving, but cared about one another as family. It would be beautiful to see a world where we focused on all of our well being instead of only valuing those who share our same initiatives.

What else would you like to tell others about you or your life?: Believe me, there are highs and lows, but it really does get better.

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