Following former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst‘s death on Sunday (January 30th), an essay she wrote for Allure Magazine in March 2021 was unearthed. Shining a light on her inner world, Kryst talked about the pressure she’s experienced around achievement.

Kryst earned her MBA and law degree simultaneously at Wake Forest University—before becoming Miss USA in 2019 and later a correspondent for Extra. Of her time at Wake Forest, she wrote, “I joined a trial team at school and won a national championship. I competed in moot court; won essay competitions; and earned local, regional, and national executive board positions.”

“I nearly worked myself to death, literally, until an eight-day stint in a local hospital sparked the development of a new perspective,” she added.

“I discovered that the world’s most important question, especially when asked repeatedly and answered frankly, is: why? Why earn more achievements just to collect another win? Why pursue another plaque or medal or line item on my resume if it’s for vanity’s sake, rather than out of passion? Why work so hard to capture the dreams I’ve been taught by society to want when I continue to only find emptiness?”

Authorities believe Kryst jumped to her death on Sunday (January 30th) from the 60-story building in which she lived. She left behind a note stating that she wanted to leave everything to her mother, who, like Kryst, was also formerly Miss North Carolina. On Instagram Sunday (January 30th), just hours before her death, Kryst posted a photo of herself with the caption, “May this day bring you rest and peace.”

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