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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at OK State chapter.

College is and forever will be a weird time for high school students going straight into college post-graduation like I did. There is so much we have to learn about how to be independent and manage ourselves in a new environment. Classes are more challenging, people are different, campus is a nightmare to navigate sometimes, and we are finding where we fit in the world. Transitioning from high school to college was so different for me. I still struggled with similarly to my peers like finding different buildings and just generally trying to survive taking 15 hours of classes, but I struggled differently.

                I grew up in a subjectively semi-conservative town with little diversity within the school system. I’ve know I was a trans woman since my freshman year of high school, but I didn’t really have the space to express myself to the fullest. I did what I could and just had to accept that I couldn’t push it further. I went through many bad haircuts, awkward fashion phases, and plenty of moments of dysphoria about every part of my body. I had people all around me supporting my journey and loving me, but it still sucked not feeling comfortable in who I was. I knew that college was going to be different. It had to be. I couldn’t keep going at the same pace I was or I wouldn’t be confident or happy. I was in a new space with the ability to do whatever I wanted, present however I wanted, and just grow into who I wanted to be. My dreams of becoming a thin, super hot, super tall, super smart, cis woman were finally going to come true and I was so excited. Little did I know that thin, tall, and cis were not going to happen.

                My journey to start expressing who I am really started in July of 2018. This is when I got bangs. That has been my dream hair style for a large portion of my life. I had asked my stylists in the pasts, but they never did it. The closest I got was a shaggy Bieber bowl cut until a finally found a stylist who listened to me and finally did it for me. I fell in love with it. One of my biggest insecurities is my forehead because it’s slopped and I feel like it’s not very feminine. Then in November of 2018 I got a job that had a dress code that was more intense the one I had in high school. I was painting my nails but the paint chipped no matter what brand or technique I used so I started getting my nails done. Just another tool to make me feel more feminine. With this job as well, I got to wear makeup more often which was so awesome. I never wore makeup outside the house unless it was for theatre, but that still wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I could list every single thing that I have been able to do in college that I never dreamed of doing in high school, but that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that I have had these opportunities. I found many organizations on campus that have accepted me with open arms and have been nothing but loving and supportive.

I still struggle. I still wake up some days and hate my body. I still hurt. I still wish that I was different. I love being trans and having the opportunity to educate people, but it’s not ideal. I accept those struggles and I am working on pushing past those because when I think about it, I am miles ahead of where I was in high school. I am so happy with the progress I’ve made. I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done because it has made me the person I am today.

One thing I want to touch on before I finish up is the privilege I have. I don’t have the same privilege a cis person has and I never will (I am too vocal about my transition to be hide it), but I still have some privilege within the trans community. I have supportive parents and a large support group. I know plenty of trans people that struggle to find a group of people who will support them and love them the way they are. It truly sucks and I cannot understand that pain. I would feel like I would be doing a disservice to my community if I were to not mention this. My story isn’t everyone’s and I feel like it’s important for me to make that very clear.

College hasn’t been easy and I would never claim it was. I struggle just like everyone else, but college has done so much good for me. I am more confident in myself and I am absolutely thrilled by that. I refuse to say that it gets better because everyone has different circumstances, but what I will say is there is hope. There will be hardships and they might seem unbearable, but there will be a time where you will be yourself and you will be happy. Just keep holding out hope. Just keep waiting if you have to. I love you and I support you. Thank you for reading my story.

Micah Damon

OK State '22

Hi! My name is Micah Damon and I am a trans sophomore at OSU. I am studying Arts Administration with a minor in American Sign Language and Gender Women's. Besides writing for Her Campus, I am apart of several different organizations and I work a lot. Outside of my responsibilities, I love shopping, hanging out with friends, and making art.