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College changes

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College Changes After finishing my first semester as a college student, the challenges and changes that college bring aren’t as frightening as they once were. And while there are certain aspects of my future that still scare me, for the first time in my life I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. I have grown and developed so much as a person over the past three months, and I owe it all to my experiences at SUNY Oswego. College is an opportunity for people to grow and change, and be who they want to be. But none of this is possible for those who are too afraid to experience new things and allow their minds to change. The summer after my senior year was a time of change for me. Determined to lose weight before I went away to school, I began running, going to the gym and eating healthy right away. After being teased and tormented because of my weight all through middle and high school, I knew that this was my last chance to change before college. I saw the results of my hard work and determination right away, and within the first few weeks, I lost ten pounds. And while my original goal was to “ fix” my outer appearance, I noticed changes on the inside as well. I began to recognize my talents and abilities, and started to actually like myself, a concept which seemed impossible to me before. The compliments that flowed in boosted my confidence even more, and I was motivated to continue. Halfway through the summer, I was fifteen pounds lighter and happier than I had ever been. As the days passed and August 27 (the day I’d leave for school) came into view, my newfound confidence was shaken. I have never handled change well, and the thought of leaving home for the first time terrified me. What if I hate college? What if I don’t make any friends? What if my roommate and I don’t get along? During the day, I was able to focus on my diet and exercise routine. I knew I couldn’t control the passing time, but I could at least control my body. At night, I’d lay awake, obsessing and stressing over what college was going to be like, and how I was going to survive it. At the end of the summer, I had lost thirty pounds. I was proud of myself, but I was more nervous than I had ever been in my life. The night before we left, I didn’t sleep at all. I didn’t have any friends in high school, why should college be any different? When I arrived at school the next day, I was not reassured. The campus was huge, and I was convinced that I would get lost trying to find my classes. My roommate was loud and bubbly, two words which will never be used to describe me, and I was instantly annoyed. My bad attitude worsened when my parents left, and I was miserable. Although she irritated me, I stuck to my roommate like glue, figuring I would rather be annoyed than alone. She eventually found a group of friends, and I was welcomed as part of the group. Although they tried to involve me in the conversation, I felt like an outsider, knowing they were only being nice to me because I was Mary’s roommate. To make matters worse, they were all very different from me, and as they shared their opinions about politics and religion, I kept my mouth shut, not wanting to argue with the only people I knew at school. While they joked and laughed, I sat quietly by myself, afraid that they wouldn’t like what I had to say. As the days passed, I became more and more homesick. Finally I had had enough. I called my mom and begged her to come get me. Convinced that my bad attitude was the only thing wrong, she told me to stick it out, try to make friends, and if I still hated it at the end of the semester, I could transfer. That night, I finally told myself that I was going to be myself, and try, really try to make friends. I realized that it was me, not everyone else who was making my life miserable. It took a lot of time, but I was finally able to open up to the people I now call my best friends, and although we disagree on many topics, we are all able to accept and love each other anyway. Coming to college forced me out of my comfort zone, and I have grown so much as a person in these few short months. This semester has been full of so many great memories and I have made friends who I know will always be there for me. None of this would have been possible if I continued to let my bad attitude and past experiences control my life. Life is full of possibilities and opportunities, but if we are too afraid to try new things, we may never get to experience them. Because I opened myself up to new people and new experiences, I have finally found what I’ve been looking for my whole life: happiness.

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