Every morning, my roommate or I, pull up the blinds to let natural light in. There’s this tree outside the window of our dorm, and for the past few months, we have witnessed it change from day to day. Experiencing the difference as the weather slowly gets colder and the leaves gradually fall is definitely one of the most natural ways to tell the time of the year. And this morning, when I rolled up the blinds, the tree was completely bald. It really hit me that my third semester in college is coming to an end.
Despite all the things and emotions I have had to deal with this semester, I am not ready to let go yet. All the good times left me with great memories and all the difficult times taught me great lessons. And tonight, I really want to focus on the good times.
If you told me a semester ago that I would have a group of friends that I can trust and be my true self around, I will look at you and nod quietly.
I went through a lot of personal growth when I moved to the states four years ago. My experiences with friendships led me to have my guard up in social situations. Gradually, my personality shifted towards being an introvert. I can have conversations, but not long conversations. I like having the freedom to go places and to do things that I like. I choose to spend more time in my room, and I leave social events early when I can.
However, as I have mentioned, I wasn’t always like that.
I remember clearly in middle school that I would always be one to make someone else laugh, either with my silly responses or my daring body motions. I was bold in front of my group of friends, I was also always the mom in the friend group, and I guess that part of me never left. I was just waiting for the time to come when I will be able to trust people again.
It started with two of my friends connecting with each other because they were hallmates. Since we were mutual friends, we started to hang out more often. I still struggled with my anxiety of being around new people, stumbling when I speak, and shaking a little when things go in ways that I was not expecting. Then, somehow we started pulling connections and forming a group of friends, grabbing meals and doing homework together. Gradually, a sense of trust and mutual respect grew and blossomed. We now consider each other as family, and we are excited to take on more challenges in life as we struggle, have fun and laugh together. Having the space to be fearless and to not take life too seriously have comforted and healed me in ways that my friends don’t even know.
So if this semester has been a hard semester for you, I hope you are still standing strong and looking out for the light at the end of the tunnel because things will work out as life unfolds itself. I encourage you to take it step by step, and one day, for sure, you will reap what you sow.
I’ve never thought I would be outgoing again. So, to my friends who have made me feel loved, safe and free, thanks for watering and protecting the sprout that is in me, she’s growing well.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and friends!