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When the school year first started, there were several things that I was afraid of.

The first thing was being away from home. Going to college meant being completely independent, at least for the most part. That meant being away from the financial security that my parents provided. It was now my responsibility to pay for the things I wanted and needed. And that was scary to me. Was I truly prepared to take care of myself when I spent the past years of my life being dependent on others? I didn’t know. I didn’t know if I could handle being away from the people I loved. I didn’t know if I could face the fact that I won’t be there for my family members’ birthday. I didn’t know if I could leave Hawaii for somewhere else. I didn’t know if I would regret it.Photo courtesy of photopin.com

The second thing was not being able to handle my classes. A part of me worried about if I was smart enough. I was studious back in high school, but sometimes I felt like I didn’t have to work for good grades because my classes were easy to me, for the most part. I always heard stories of college being a trillion times harder in high school, and in turn, no one was truly prepared to take college courses. That idea ate at my mind a lot. For most of my life, I was considered the kid who was “above average.” A part of me was afraid that going to college will only show that I wasn’t the smart kid that everyone thought I was, rather I was just average.

The third thing was not being able to fit in. Growing up, I was always a shy kid. I found it hard to open myself up to people and just in general, making friends was hard for me. So, the big problem that loomed over my head was: will I be able to find people that liked me?Photo courtesy of unsplash.com

Lastly, I was afraid of choosing the wrong college. This was my biggest doubt that encompassed the previous doubts. The way I thought of it was that if I did attended this school and hated it, I basically wasted a year of my life. If I didn’t like this school, that in a way that meant I failed. I failed to be able to survive living on my own and going to college. Ultimately, that would mean I failed at being independent.

Now as the school year is ending, looking back on my doubts, it makes me laugh. If there is anything I learned from this first year of college, is that I underestimated what I was capable of.

Being away from home, of course, comes with its down points, but at the end, I really believe that it shaped me for the better. It made me more confident. More specifically, I learned to trust in myself and my decisions more, rather than letting other people dictate what I should do.

I also realized that I was an average person in terms of smartness. I am an average student, but there is nothing wrong with that. I guess I felt like smartness related to being well-rounded in a variety of subjects. Coming to this school and taking classes that did not suit me, made me realize that. On the contrary, I was opened up to different hobbies and subjects that I found interesting. It was in those hobbies and subjects that I found what I was good at. I learned that it doesn’t matter if you’re not good at science or English but rather finding that one thing that you know well and finding your strength through that.

With worrying about not being able to fit in, I learned that you will find people who do like you. It may take some time, but it will happen. You just have to be patient and willing to open up to people.

Lastly, with making the wrong college choice, the biggest thing that really affects this is your perspective. College is truly what you make of it. You are the one in charge of making college worth it. It is your responsibility to go out and get involved. Yes, sometimes there are some things that we can’t control like getting a professor we don’t want, but we can either choose to let that factor bring us down, or empower us to do better. Throughout this year, I learned that it is really my attitude towards things that can either make or break my overall experience.

Of course, I will have doubts for next year, it’s only natural to think of them, but as for now, I want to say goodbye to the doubts that weighed me down. As the year comes to an end, I can finally breathe.    Gif courtesy of giphy.com


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