I think that it is an understatement to say that university is a completely new playing field than that of high school. The differences that I have come across over the past eight months between what was and what is are staggering, and yet somehow, I managed to get through it.
It was over the past eight months when I learned new things about myself, made new friends and, quite possibly, grew and matured. I know it might be quite a long shot to say that over a period of a year, I have somehow matured. I also know that people will be rolling their eyes at this point. However, I say this because I am now happy with where I am. I am content with who I am and I am more comfortable living the life that I am living.
This is not to say that before I was dissatisfied with my life. Growing up, I had all these great expectations about who I was going to be during high school, and after high school, I would move on to university (Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford/Brown) and go do something amazing (pursue a law career or something) and eventually change the world (become the next [insert amazing figure here]). I had high expectations, which many would tell me are good, but I feel like the expectations were not feasible or made because I wanted to pursue them. I realize now that these expectations that I had were because I wanted to have that opportunity to make my parents proud.
I also had high expectations on my physical appearance (skinnier, approx 110 pounds. No acne, toned arms and legs, and amazing eyebrows), the friends I kept, my future boyfriend to be fiancé to be husband, when I would graduate, have a job, get married and have children, and to have a picture perfect life overall. That was the expectation, and this is the reality. I am not studying at any of the previously mentioned schools nor do I have the slightest interest in pursuing law. I am still working on the change the world part. I may not be the weight or physical traits that I wanted, but I accept what I do have – a healthy body. I have accepted that friends come and go, but true friends will be there for me despite time and distance. The boyfriend part is non-existent but I am content with meeting new people and growing with them instead of being infatuated and obsessed with them. I have come to the conclusion that I may not graduate in 4 years and may need to work extra hard to have a job after graduation. I have also resigned to the fact that getting married at 23 and having children at 24 may not happen anymore, but that is okay. The reality that I live in may have readjusted the expectations that I set up for myself, and that really is okay. Especially since I am turning 19 in three days. Getting married at 23 suddenly seems really soon.
Over the past 8 months I have learned to grow through my life instead of just growing up (which, by the way, is not looking very good. I have been 5’2″ for (nearly) ever). There is much more to life than all the petty problems I had found myself in during my time in high school. In retrospect, everything is quite small. And in time to come, the problems I find myself in now will also become quite small.
High school me was an utter confusion, despite the world around me thinking that I had everything under control. As much as I would tell myself that I had a level head growing up, the reality is that sometimes I got lost. I had no idea where I was going and what I wanted, and I think that this led to fall outs with friends, unfulfilled expectations and meaningless romantic relationships and infatuations.
I look at myself now and I can still clearly picture what I was doing a year ago. I keep telling myself that if 5 years of high school can go by quickly, than university will be more or less the same speed. This time in university has, in many ways, forced me to mature and catch up. I learned very quickly that I am actually an ambivert. I met new friends that helped to build me up, renew my faith and also kept in touch with old friends that I do not have the luxury of seeing everyday. I found also that it is time to let go of pointless grudges that I have had and move on, because I do not have the time or energy to continue doing so. All these lessons and new relationships have come with time and patience., and I know that the future will bring many more life lessons, many more mentors and many more good friends.
But until then, I am finished first year and getting ready to move on to bigger and better things.
Your fellow ambivert and ink spiller,
P.S. – here’s to all the life giving friendships over the past 8 months!