I have always thought of myself as an independent person. I always did things on my own and I did not like asking for help, even when I needed it the most. This feeling of independence peaked my senior year of high school, with graduation on the brain and college on the horizon. This year of my life became home to this strange phenomenon in which my mind created scenarios for how the future may or may not turn out. Most of these scenarios were of either graduation, getting college acceptance letters, or actually moving into my college dorm and starting the greatest, newest chapter of my life. I dug myself a deep hole of these scenarios, and I was not complaining. Like most high school seniors, I craved the independence that college could give me, and I could not wait to move out. I figured I would end up losing touch with my friends from high school, which did not sit well at first, but ultimately I thought it was okay because I would make new friends in college anyway. Deep, deep down I knew I would miss home and its familiarity, but my craving for independence made me think that after I left for school, I could completely disregard the life I had at home, including my friends and family.
After move in day, I soon realized my assumptions had been wrong, and my independence was a façade. The relationships I had left at home were still just as, if not more, important than they were before I left. It’s important to think about this question. Whenever you get news, who is the first person you want to tell? Whenever something interesting happens to me, good or bad, I cannot wait to tell my family, and whenever something crazy happens, I cannot wait to tell my friends. Do not get me wrong, I absolutely love living on my own, learning new things about myself, and finding my place in the world, but I also catch myself missing home quite often. I used to look forward to moving out like it was the best thing that could ever happen to me, and now I look forward to all the group texts, the facetime calls, and the weekend visits home.
College has made me realize that every single person you interact with has an impact on your life, whether it is a minor impact or a major one. The relationships you create with people are so important, especially in these times of great change.
So why am I telling you about this realization now? Well it is because “times of great change,” does not just mean leaving for college. Yes, this is my story of how independence got the best of me, but it is not the only story. Whenever people start something new in their life, they tend to forget who and what got them there. They tend to forget about the minor and major impacts that relationships have, and a single person can be your entire support system. Independence is a great quality to have, but do not let that independence create a shadow over the people that have made you who you are.