As I finished putting up pictures of my family, friends and favorite bands along the walls of my dorm and looked out the window at Bellingham Bay, I thought: “I am finally here. I made it.”
Then I realized how much I have grown in the past few years. Four years ago, I was terrified of going to high school, even though nearly everyone I knew would attend the next few years of school with me. I still had my friends from dance and Hebrew school, yet I was petrified of such a huge transition.
Last Sunday, I moved up to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University as a freshman. Surprisingly, I never got nervous about making friends, locating my classes (although I did get lost), or finding my course load intimidating. I kind of feel at home. I feel like I belong. I am here.
Already, I recognize that I have a solid group of friends whom I met during the Monday Night Seahawks football game. That tiny dorm room was crammed with at least 25 people screaming, booing and cheering, and while I had no idea what was going on during the game, I had found my group.
In among all the chaos and people, I thought, “I am here and I found my friends.”
After knowing each other for less than 10 days, we are already poking fun at each other, working out together at the Rec Center, inviting ourselves into each other’s dorm rooms, and giving the guys haircuts in their bathroom.
The only way I can describe coming to college might sound strange. I didn’t expect it to feel this way and I don’t expect it to last, either. But so far, I feel like I’m at summer camp: Hanging out with friends whenever there is a free moment, eating mediocre food in the dining hall, no bedtime, and the best part, no parent supervision. Of course, there are many people who have taken advantage of this last fact and already engaged in “Weed Wednesday” and “Thirsty Thursday,” but this girl is trying to pass precalculus. I am here and I am sober.
Yesterday, my roommate Alli and I had a dialogue with our RA. One of the questions she asked us was, “What did you expect coming into college?” For me, it was a difficult question. I had come, obviously, to get an education, but why else was I here?
I am at college because I want to live away from my parents. I am here because I want to find a career rather than a job. I am here because I want to make new friends. I am here because I like to learn. I am here because I want to make an impact on society. I am here because I want to experience my culture and religion.
I am here because I want to find out who I am and who I will become.
I am here.