My mom has always been my best friend. She has been by my side through everything. Each bleeding cut, headache, and all of my various injuries have been less painful because my mom was there as a shoulder to cry on. Well, I realized all-too-quickly that my mother is an entire state away since I moved away to college.
When my leg started swelling last week from a lacrosse injury, I didn’t even consider going to the doctor’s office until my mom told me I should go during a telephone conversation. Visiting the doctor alone was never even a possibility for me. I’m eighteen-years-old—a legal adult—but discussing my health without the guidance and support of a parent is truly scary for me.
When the nurse told me that it was necessary to move me to the ER for the lump on my leg, I immediately started crying. Thankfully, it was diagnosed only as a hematoma from the torn muscle pooling blood under my skin. Regardless, the fear of the unknown with an IV in my arm and a special technician traveling across town to test my calf was absolutely terrifying. I sat in the hospital bed for an hour in solitude while I waited for the test results.
I realized in that moment that I was truly “adulting.”
I realized that moving away to college had been the biggest change in my life thus far. I moved to a different state, absolutely alone. I had no one to do anything for me except for myself. I realized how much I have grown up and how much I’ve changed in the past six months. Despite all this, there are still moments where the kid inside me reveals itself.
I have learned so much at Baylor, and I have received such an amazing education thus far; however, independence is one of the things I have learned that I appreciate the most. I am gaining the tools I need to be successful in the “real world.” I cried during my first trip to the doctor’s office by myself, but those tears weren’t from the pain: they were from the realization that I was no longer a child.
College is making me tougher every single day. My leg might feel a little weaker, but my independence is definitely stronger.