I hear my mom’s soft voice on the other end of the line. I can picture her standing on the wood kitchen floor in front of the phone that hangs next to the refrigerator. Her voice comes calmly across the line despite the chaos of my family in neighboring rooms, “Today I was going through some old papers and I stumbled upon a list of “Life Goals” you made in second grade. I am going to send them to you, it’s something you should read now that you’re off at college. They are so sweet,” she tells me, as a pot she is setting on the stove clinks in the background.
While packing the last minute necessities into my suitcases the morning of my flight to Beloit, I sat down on my bed to talk with my mom. She cuddled up next to me and pulled her light green sweater around her thin frame, preparing me for the big, wide world. I heard her out but was convinced that I had already changed so much, what more could happen? I had been home schooled for the last two years and been exposed to many opportunities and situations that my peers couldn’t even imagine.
“Well, there will be a lot of boys at school,” she not so slyly pointed out, before making sure I had packed all my toiletries.
Boys hadn’t changed me so far. My mom is always prepared and was trying to make sure I was doing the same. My mom – the doctor, the therapist, the teacher, the chef – a all-in-one, and I was getting ready to do it without her.
Within the first week at Beloit I already saw myself changing. I was more sociable and outgoing, less judgmental and more relaxed and easy going. I used to be so goal oriented and focused on planning and preparing, but now I could just go with the flow and enjoy it all. I just learned to look at the big picture and solve what needed to be solved.
I thought it would take time to adjust to the new environment and lifestyle required for college, but I quickly and easily slipped into the routine. I now call Beloit my home. This is the most comfortable I have ever felt and I am at ease with who I have become. When I walk into a room I no longer second-guess myself. Instead I am comfortable with my surroundings. The friendships I have built mean the world to me; not a night goes by that we don’t spend time together.
So many little changes that I couldn’t even pinpoint have made me into a person that I am happier with. I have had many new experiences and met many new people, but at the heart of it all I can still find myself – that self has just grown a little. It has grown to incorporate those new friends who are like family, those new experiences that will never be forgotten, and overall has made me a better person.
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