You spend nine months in the womb. By the end of nine months you are physically unrecognizable in everything but genetics. You spend about 7.5 months being a college freshman, about the age of a premature yet birthed infant child. You spend 7.5 months being a freshman in college and the same physically transformative experience you underwent in the womb happens to you psychologically and emotionally. But I must emphasize the premature part. I find myself leaving here with almost as many issues as I had coming in, but these are different. There is foundation.
They tell you a lot of clichés before you come to pursue your education. They tell you to be outgoing. They tell you your friends, your outlook, and yourself will change. They tell you it’ll be tough, really really tough. But when you’re inundated with clichés it’s hard to really take them to heart after a while, especially when their source is a faceless internet user rather than a parent or best friend.
Well, I found that most of the clichés are true on a much deeper and more intimate level than any keyboard happy college student could ever relay to my eager high school mind.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes which, even if I can move past them, I can never really emotionally or foundationally undo. I’ve felt hopeless and useless. I’ve felt as though everything I am and ever was is a lie and that my best will never be enough. Everything I ever thought I understood about life and the world I inhabit were ripped out from under me about as neatly as a 5-year-old boy trying to pull a table cloth out from a fully furnished dinner table.
I’ve felt lonely. Really really painfully lonely. And even now that I have a stronger ground under me than I did when making poor and irrational decisions in September, these negative feelings still sneak up on me. As I said, I’m transformed, but I have a lot of growing to do still.
On the other hand, I’ve been inspired. I’ve found people who are passionate about what I’m passionate about. And even if they’re not, they have passion. Their passion and energy have fueled me. I experienced energies of zeal, joy, and artistry that my meager vocabulary cannot possibly articulate. I have found teachers and peers who are successful, and make me want to strive for that as well. I have days where I learn from everyone and everything around me, and the more knowledge I am fed the hungrier I am for more. For the first time in my life I’ve been touched by the energy of my loved ones. I’ve found people who care about me and make me better and don’t just use me to have someone to socialize with. For the first time in my life, I’ve made friends who I’m comfortable saying “I love you” to.
I’ve experienced intensities of happiness I didn’t even know were feasible in a human mind over the age of 8.
In these past 7.5 Months, I’ve endured the most powerful highs and lows I have ever experienced in my entire lifetime. But I did so with the most incredible people I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. I wouldn’t change a second of it, not a second of the joy or the misery. I am here now, stronger, more mature, and more apt to do the learning and self discovery I still need to do, because of it.
Sure, I still think about the past, and sometimes regret any disconnect I’ve formed with it. And what’s even scarier is that this present seems to be slipping right out
from under me before I can even grasp what it is. Truth be told, I’m terrified. I’m terrified about so many things I don’t even understand what they all are. I’m terrified about what the world has to offer, but I’m also thrilled.
I’ll never forget where I came from, and I’ll probably never really know where I’m going, but I’m finally confident in where I stand, and it’s thanks to all the wonderful support of the people around me, and of course because of myself.