Listening to: Winter Wonderland – The Judds
Today I turned twenty. My teen years are, thank God, behind me. So is my first semester of college.
My best friend, K, and I were talking about some of the choices I’ve made over the past couple of years. Choices that led me to UT. She wanted to know if I had regrets. It is a logical question. To get to Texas, I had to leave North Carolina — and with it, many things that I loved. Seasons. Mountains. People who sound like me when I talk. In getting here, I recreated myself. To end up here, I walked away from a guaranteed full scholarship to UNC. I walked away from the opportunity to get my education at the school I always expected to attend. I walked away from the opportunity to graduate debt free.
I admit, I question my sanity occasionally.
Getting through the first semester was a challenge. I had a lot fears coming in. Some academic — would I be smart enough? Would I be able to function in a classroom setting after four years of homeschool? Some medical — what would it be like to have OCD in college? Would I be able to stand it? Financial fears, of course. I lost my job two weeks before the semester started. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to pay my rent. Mostly, social fears. I was worried about being the twenty year old freshman. Entering college out of the work force rather than out of high school. Being a student — a subordinate — when I’d been accustomed to being treated like an adult.
Life has a funny way of working out, though. My fears weren’t all unfounded, but they were all manageable. I learned how to study. I survived my finals — even got 102 on one of them! I wrote about OCD. Instead of letting it control me, I used it. I took out loans. The financial aid finally kicked in. And I got the chance to enjoy my first semester in college without having to also worry about work. I found that my peers in college were truly my peers — I’m not weird here. Being “the academic” in college is actually a good thing. As for the professors — I found that I wasn’t afraid of them, because I had already learned how to both respect and to ask for respect in return.
So yeah. It’s been a great semester, and I’m sure now that I made the right choices. This is my college. It’s my city. And I love it here.
Christmas is just around the corner, and then it’s back to work. I can’t wait to see what Spring 2010 has in store for me. I have biology, social work, an upper division Lit class that I begged to be allowed to take, a UGS course on music psychology, and a ballet class. I’m sure it will prove to be an interesting combination. A friend of mine is directing a play for which I hope to audition. Spring break promises to bring an adventure of some kind. And I’ll be here, exactly where I want to be, sharing it all. No regrets, no looking back. And here’s to a great twentieth year at The University of Texas.
Merry Christmas — Happy New Year — Safe Travels, Safe Returns. See you in 2010!