Finding Your Identity Away From Home

In high school, I thought I knew everything. Growing up in a small town in the Bay Area of California, I felt like I already knew the world. I had my friends and my hobbies and by the time it was the summer after high school, I really thought I had my life figured out. 

Yet, when I was at my freshman orientation 3,000 miles away from my hometown, the group leader approached me and said, “tell me a fun fact about yourself!”—I blanked.

The first 18 years of my life were based on everyone around me —my friends I grew up with, the lemon tree in my backyard, and the boba tea shop my friends and used to hang out at every day after school. My life was comprised of inside jokes my friends and I made throughout the years and weekends spent making lemonade from my lemon tree. I had no high school friends or lemon trees at my new college. 

My first word of advice: the first semester of college may be one of the roughest times you will ever experience, especially if you are far from home and you don’t have many familiar people around to remind you of who you are. 

During my first semester, I felt more lost than ever. The jokes I had with my friends from home didn’t resonate with the new people I met. Many of the friendships I made felt shallow, and though I thought I was a talkative person growing up, I had nothing to say—I felt like I had no personality.

However, feeling so lost also gave me a chance to try new things. I joined different clubs and tried new hobbies—I took up knitting for a month, became a movie enthusiast—and by the time I came back to California for summer break, I had plenty of fun facts to share about myself.

California Miranda and Boston Miranda have two different lives. Yet, together, they add to who I am today. Moving across the country became a part of my identity and brought me to who I am proud to be.


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