Chiara Santina Young

It felt like the life I had always known had been destroyed.
Chiara Santina Young headshot

I received a phone call from my mother during the first semester of my freshman year that ripped my world apart. Just as I was starting to feel comfortable at RIT she called to tell me that she was planning to divorce my father. I was shocked, confused, and afraid. It felt like the life I had always known had been destroyed.

The next two years were very difficult. RIT was my escape from the storm of fights and gossip happening at home. I didn’t leave Rochester for breaks and I didn’t answer my parents’ phone calls. I thought that as long as I avoided the chaos my family I would be okay.

Friends encouraged me to get help but I thought I could handle things on my own. I was so wrong. One day the anxiety that had been building up in me boiled over and I had a crippling full-blown anxiety attack. Curled up on the floor in my living room unable to move, I managed to call my sister and she convinced me to get professional help.

I began meeting with a therapist in RIT’s Counseling and Psychological Services office. She helped me process the feelings I had suppressed for two years and little by little the anger and anxiety started to lift. I’m much happier now and so glad I got the help I needed. By continuing with counseling, focusing on my physical wellness, and staying connected to the RIT community, every day is a step in the right direction.

Chiara Santina Young

Orientation Leadership Team