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Jenna Kim, a 25-year-old real estate agent, shares her experience of losing her best friend in a car crash during her senior year of high school. She struggled to cope with the loss and her grades suffered, but eventually decided to heal and move forward. Jenna initially pretended to be okay, but eventually sought therapy and support from her mom. She had feelings of grief and revenge towards the drunk driver, but realized the importance of letting go and focusing on her own well-being. Jenna became a real estate agent to honor her friend's memory and feels proud of her accomplishments. She emphasizes the importance of not oversharing with strangers and the need to do things right to make her friend proud. My name is Jenna Kim. I am 25 years old and I graduated from UT Austin and I'm a real estate agent. In high school, I had a really close friend and we were best friends since the age of nine. She died in a car crash in my senior year and I just couldn't feel like graduating without her. We were always together, so the passing of her really just put a blank spot in my life. I always looked past my shoulders expecting her to greet me or say some joke, but I have to keep reminding myself that she passed away. I took it horribly. When I first heard the news, at first I just didn't believe it. It was just so surreal. I knew people died from car accidents and reckless driving, but I never thought it would happen to someone so close to me. No one really ever thinks that they'll lose something until it happens. After that happened, my grades just started falling a bit. I started lacking in all my classes. It was really hard because I nearly failed senior year and I had to focus because I had to at least graduate, which she would have wanted. I learned to heal over time, but it's only if you allow it. What I mean is if only you let yourself do it. I remember that I was so stubborn to get my mental health checked after the death and my health just declined for the worse. I was tired of living every day without my best friend. She was like a sister. I wake up one day and look around and I decided that I should stop being so miserable and my friend wouldn't have wanted this. I got myself back together and in UT Austin, the school that we were aiming for together, if I hadn't picked myself up, then I wouldn't be where I'm at. At first, I didn't really express it to others. When someone asked me how I was, I would just say I brushed it off my shoulders. I would say that I'm okay and I'm recovering well, but in reality, I just really wasn't. It was hard trying to heal over time because you're just lying to yourself. You know the term fake it till you make it? It's kind of a really bad term because if you fake it till you make it, other people are going to think you're fine while you inside just really aren't. It was really difficult at first until one of my closest friends started noticing and he told me that I should at least talk to a therapist or at least my mom. I talked to my mom about it and she agreed to go get me someone else to talk to. At first, it was really hard opening up to strangers, but as on, it got easier. It's natural to feel hatred or revenge towards the person because the majority of drunk driving, the drunk driver lives and the other people don't. I felt like there was a lot of grief and a lot of revenge and a lot of hatred, but as on, I had to learn how to brush it off because eventually, I feel like karma would get to him. Like I said, it's really bad to hold a grudge for so long, so I kind of had to move past it. Although it does hurt thinking about it every day, I just know that she'll be in a better place and it's not my problem. Me being a real estate agent doesn't really bring up the story in any way. When I'm real estate, like showing people my houses and other things I need to sell, I lean on more to the house side of my personal life. It's a good question because sometimes other people open up too quickly and it leads to the other person being confused and they don't know what to say, so that's the thing. You can't really overshare with people you just met. Oh yeah, yeah, 100%. I feel like she'd be proud of me for where I am because real estate is a really hard job. I told this to my brother and everyone else. I'd say, I'll tell them, I'm going to become a real estate agent, I'm going to become one. In reality, I never even applied. I never even put in the effort. When I said that, my brother told me that if I'm going to do it, I have to do it right. That was the kind of thing me and my old friend did. Have I told you her name? Abby. That's the kind of thing that me and Abby did. It's funny because I was more the lazy person in the friendship and she was really active. I was very introverted as we started growing up and she was all like, come on, let's go do this, let's go do that. You know, right? When he said that, it just made me think of her and I was like, okay, if I want to do it, then I have to do it right and then she'll be proud of me. Even though she's not here with us, she would be proud of me. When I did it, yeah, thank you, but when I graduated and got into the real estate business, all I did, all I thought was just, I just did it for her. There's no one else. I just had to do it for her and continue her legacy of being a very beautiful and great person. Yeah, of course.

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