I have loved fashion ever since I can remember. However, I never really had any artistic abilities, at least compared to my sister, but I still found myself designing and drawing clothes for several hours each day. I even had an Instagram account—when Instagram was truly casual and one’s username had a couple numbers on it for no good reason—and posted outfits that I liked from Tumblr. Yes, Tumblr. However, this passion faded away without me even noticing as I grew up.
I wasn’t always a straight A student, even if some of my friends find that hard to believe. I was easy-going and stress-free, like a lot, if not most, high school students. However, as I finished my sophomore year of high school, I went through a rough patch due to losing my best friend on a car accident. I suddenly fell in love with deadlines, with schoolwork, with college applications, and with grades. It was weird, considering the opposite usually happens when one goes through a trauma. However, looking back, I feel that was my way of escaping what was happening around me, and most importantly, that was me trying to fill in a void that I could simply not. Nevertheless, I suddenly had a ‘crush’ on medicine. I was never excellent at science, so it was a shock to my parents when I told them about it. They sent me to a medicine related camp during my school year and they made me watch real life surgeries to test myself, and well, I can proudly say I passed all the tests. Furthermore, as my senior year of high school approached, I had a list of all the colleges I wanted to apply. As an international student, I had many different options; however, one of the options was almost crystal clear and impossible to ignore. My sister studied in Spain, my best friend was going to study in Spain, and a lot of family members that I didn’t get to see often also lived in Spain. In this instance, all the cards seemed ready for me: I was going to Spain to study medicine alongside with my best friend and some family members. What else could I ask for? Well, I could, indeed, ask for more, only I didn’t know it yet.
In short, I didn’t like Spain, at all. I lived there for six months miserably; however, reflecting on it now makes me realize the amazing friends I had throughout that journey and the amazing progress I made as a person. I learned to be independent, to fight for what I want, and most importantly, to not care what people think about me. And this last one is the most important of them all, considering I had always cared about what people said about me. More specifically, I always knew I was a good person, whatever that means, but I always sought validation from other people or other things. So, how could I change colleges? How could I tell my parents I failed? Was I not good enough? Not intelligent enough? So many things came to my mind as I pondered my next move, but I was in rock bottom; I had nothing to lose. After all it was my life, not theirs, and I needed to stand up for myself because no one else was going to do it for me. And so I called my parents, re-applied to Baylor, and moved.
For me, Baylor was a breath of fresh air. My first semester was all I could’ve ever asked for, not only because of how amazing Baylor is as a university, but because of the people I met and the true friends I discovered. Today, I’m a psychology major with a minor in apparel merchandising and news-editorial—yes, I rediscovered my love for fashion and found a new love for journalism alongside with a little medicine. But, if I’m being honest I have no idea what I want to do with my life; however, I do have a sense of who I am. Because after all, even if some people know from a very young age exactly what they want to do with their lives, what you do is just a small part of you. And discovering everything that makes you you is a much bigger journey than just your career. Who you are does not develop in a heartbeat, it takes patience, experience, curiosity, and most importantly, love, perseverance and dedication. So go out there, spend more time feeling and doing than planning and thinking. Take risks, you don’t want to wake up when you are seventy and have regrets. Accept that being true to yourself is what ultimately leads to happiness. Confront what you don’t like and fight for what you do like. Find role models, seek inspiration. And lastly, don’t be afraid of change, there is always room for growth and time to try something new.