I’ve never been one for goodbyes or any type of major change for the matter. I would have gone to any lengths to avoid it at all costs in order to prevent a sense of loss or discomfort, but you simply cannot go through life fearing something that is eventually imminent. It is for this reason that I’d like to share some learning experiences and significant turning points in my life that have changed me for the best in the last year.
For me, the last couple of months of high school felt like a never-ending cycle of dread and despair. The thought of going away to college was an exciting one. In fact, it was everything I had been dreaming of my whole life. I’d watched movies, read books, and created this idea that living on my own was the peak of youthful exuberance. It turns out I wasn’t completely wrong, but at that time I was not prepared for was the unexpected sadness that came from the notion of leaving those who I cared so deeply for. I am naturally a very emotional person, although this usually comes as a surprise to many, so continuously having to think about departure did not make for the greatest summer. I dwelled on the loss I would feel once I left everyone I knew, and feared that maybe I wouldn’t make it on my own. However, I decided that I would channel this fear and self-doubt into something productive and use it to my advantage.
I was lucky enough to arrive at college having close friends from my high school, but what I realized early on once my fear dissipated was that it was going to be OK. There were so many new people I was yet to meet, and still have yet to meet, but this idea in itself is what makes the future so exciting!
My first two semesters of college have been a time a growth, self-discovery, and self-love. Spending time living on my own has given me time to reflect on the things that I’m passionate about, as well as things that specifically displease me. On the other hand, it's allowed me outgrow many insecurities and let go of self-destructive tendencies that I no longer have a use for. The classes I’ve taken have been a great learning experience for me because I specifically chose subjects that have always interested me and want to further understand. Except for maybe chemistry. Nevertheless, the point is that it feels great to be able to choose myself and for myself, and have confidence that growth can only positively benefit me. College life and living life on your own in general is only what you make of it. I have realized that for the most part, we spend a large portion of our lives focusing on anything but ourselves, and instead seek things that only bring us short-term satisfaction. However, change can be an opportunity to turn things around and do something great.
So looking back at my life, exactly one year ago from today, I can only conclude that change is not to be feared. It’s an unknown entity that perhaps we ought to embrace more, in order to let it shape us into the most authentic version of ourselves. I think that's what being an adult is all about. It's learning new things about yourself that perhaps you didn't already know, and being able to not only accept these things but embrace them as well. Despite the opinions of others. That's not to say that one necessarily has to go away to college to do these things, but at least for me, it's been a new and unique experience.