This past August I began my first year as a college student. Coming from Houston, the fourth-largest city in the country, to a town surrounded by trees with a population of 60,000 was quite an adjustment. At first it seemed a dream, but after a couple of weeks, I knew I was beginning a journey of new experiences and adventures in college.
Leaving home, my parents and family, and separating from some of my closest friends, was one of the hardest things I ever did. It felt scary at first, but knowing that I was on my own and in charge of what I did and when I did it, was an exciting concept. Seeing new faces, being in new surroundings and meeting people was also an experience I was ready to take on.
When I came to college I was looking for new challenges, including having a roommate. I have always had my own room and space. With college, all that has changed. Combining two people with different backgrounds into one room can be chaotic.
Living with someone who is the older of two siblings, shares everything, is a loud talker and inconsiderate without even knowing it can be very stressful. As the youngest of two by 10 years, I have had my own everything, shared nothing and do not believe in borrowing without asking. After many arguments and setting of boundaries, I somehow overcame the dreaded roommate disorder.
Becoming a freshman in college is very different from being a high-school freshman. College freshmen are set for a whole new awakening. I was overwhelmed with all the new things to observe and take into account. I had tons of work with deadlines, parties and friends who are always in my face, and no one to tell me what to do or when to do it. This is very unlike high school, where the teacher gives an assignment with a week-long deadline and step-by-step guidelines. College is very different from high school or home where rules are set and you coast through life. College is a new beginning, an opportunity to grow up and mature.
Becoming a freshman again can stir up doubts, fears and even tears but I now know that what may seem scary at first will have a better outcome than not experiencing it at all. New faces, new surroundings and meeting people is an unknown journey that I look forward to as I go to class each day. I took my first real steps, now I am walking tall and fearless in this unknown adventure that awaits me.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.