Ever since second semester of senior year started, I had been itching to leave high school. The monotonous bell schedule was beginning to bore me and only intensified my senioritis, which was already on full blast. I felt like I was only in class just so that I wouldn’t accrue too many absences.
However rocky or lazy senior year might’ve been, I had a pretty good time in high school. There were definitely some terrible moments, but they were inevitable and crucial to my experience. Therefore I am happily leaving those memories in the past. Early on, I had made a promise to myself that I would leave high school with little to no regrets, and that’s how I feel as I write this. Throughout these past four years, I have learned a lot, made some stupid decisions, connected with different people, met some of my best friends (and lost some), lived through plenty of mistakes, gotten out of my comfort zone, and most importantly, grown into myself. I discovered what I truly loved and what made my heart tick, which only makes me more excited for this upcoming new chapter of my life.
In the fall, I will be moving to New York City. Surprisingly, I don’t feel that nervous, probably because I have always wanted to live there, and I am used to doing most things on my own. Since I don’t live with my parents, I have learned to take care and rely on myself. Of course, navigating and adapting to a new environment will be difficult, but that’s just part of the experience. There is no formula to this transition, but to keep an open mind.
Nonetheless, with college comes anticipation and expectations. Described as the place for new opportunities, new people, and new adventures, entering college is overwhelming. There are so many decisions to make, and especially with me, I have an urge to try everything. As I scan through the university course catalog, I have to remind myself to accept the fact that my schedule will not be perfect and that is okay. The truth is I really don’t know what freshman year will entail and how much I will change as a person, but the point is to explore different classes, clubs, teams, etc. All I know is to enjoy the freedom and chance to finally pursue these opportunities and meet people from all walks of life, which are a few things that I’m looking forward to. And we’ve all heard that we meet some of our best friends in college.
I think my excitement can be traced back to the fact that the limited class selection at my high school did not satisfy my curiosities. Naturally, I took advantage of every opportunity I had to explore my interests. It started with reading different books that covered topics that weren’t available at my school, and ultimately I stumbled upon one book that changed my life. This book led me to panels at my local university and the lab I am currently working at. Essentially, all of these experiences cultivated my weird fascination with infectious diseases (how glamorous), and I am researching one of them. The bubbly feeling I get when I arrive at the lab and see some of my favorite people is how I picture college to partly be like: I know that opportunities like this will only multiply and that I will find more people to connect with as I delve into my true passions. There is nothing more motivating and inspiring than to surround myself with people who have similar interests. My visions only expand.
With this in mind, it is also important to cherish my time before college. Although official paperwork has already begun, I am not yet slammed by student loans and unforeseen challenges. Even though I am considered an adult, I have yet to truly experience those responsibilities in a new setting. The summer before college is almost this “golden time” to essentially, do whatever I want before everything changes. And while I am both relaxing and working, I am also making sure that my friends and family know I appreciate them before I move so far away. My time here is fleeting, yet I know the end of this chapter only marks the beginning of another.
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