Support networks are a crucial part of resilience, and may even perhaps be the most important factor. It's not hard to find evidence of the health impacts of isolation or the protective effects of having supportive community. Those with strong support networks are less likely to develop PTSD and among those who still do, good support is likely to significantly reduce symptom severity. In order to have a healthy support network, you need to be able to recognize what healthy relationships look like. If you can't recognize when a relationship is becoming unhealthy, you can't take steps to keep yourself safe. Discernment is the skill of perceiving, understanding, and exercising good judgment. A person with "discerning tastes" is someone who has strong preferences about aesthetic quality, like a gourmand. The psychological use of the term is much broader—it is more related to perception and decision-making in general.
College can be hard even when nothing traumatic happens to you – especially in a physical therapy doctorate program – but navigating hallways where you could pass your rapist at any moment is hard on another level. And on a small campus, where he’s popular and you’re not? It can feel like all you can do is brace yourself. Forget support systems or telling anyone his name.
Resilience is the ability to recover from really tough, painful situations. But there's so much more depth to it than that. There are several components that are thought to contribute to overall resilience. Each of these is a skill that can be developed, or a practice that's built up based on skills that can be developed. This isn't the kind of thing that you either have or you don't. Everyone has some degree of resilience. And it's something you can always improve.