A year ago today, I was a senior in high school, nervously waiting to hear back from colleges that I applied to. As much as I never admitted it to anyone, there was only one college that I truly cared about being accepted to.
A year ago today, I was accepted into that college.
And a year later, I’m sitting in my dorm room, looking at the spectacular views of the city of Boston. A year later, I’m finishing up my first semester of college by studying for my first college finals.
It’s mind-blowing to think how much my life has changed after one year. What’s even crazier is to think about how much I have changed after one year.
Despite being in college for nearly one semester, I already know that I’ve grown and changed drastically as a person. I am most definitely not the same person who moved into college about four months ago. What I’ve experienced, what I’ve learned, and who I have met have all shaped me into the person I am now.
Mostly, what I’ve been feeling since I’ve arrived on campus is gratitude.
Every single day, I am so extremely grateful to be here. I wake up and look out my window at the city moving below, and I am so thankful to be able to live in a place that feels so alive. As I walk along Commonwealth Avenue, I gaze around at all the buildings and the scenery around me. Things are constantly changing, moving, building, and growing.
I sit at my desk in my dorm room and laugh and listen to my roommate as she paces around the room and recalls the events of her day. I never thought that living with someone else, a total stranger at first, would be so comforting, knowing that you always have someone to talk to. Whether it’s 2PM or 2AM, I’m thankful to have her as my roommate.
I walked out of my 8AM bio lab one morning and realized that the leaves had finally fallen from the trees and scattered onto the sidewalk.
And it was beautiful.
I look around at the people that I call my friends, and I can’t believe how fortunate I am to have found people like them. Whether I met them during FYSOP, at orientation, at a soccer game during matriculation, or through clubs and sports like BUFSA and Quidditch, they’re people who give me a sense of home while I’m 286 miles away from it.
I’m so incredibly lucky to live this life.
Last year, I never thought that I would be able to live in a city like Boston. I never thought that I could be away from my family and not feel homesick. I never thought that I could be so independent and outgoing, constantly putting myself out there to complete strangers — something my high school senior self would never be able to do.
But a year later, I’m a freshman in college doing everything I never thought I could do.
I’m more comfortable with myself. I feel lighter, freer, and even happier. Although I thought that I was happy in high school, I know for a fact that I’m happy now.
While some people may despise change or shy away from it, I hope those people begin to realize that not all change is bad. Change can be good.
I know that this change has been good for me.
And I know that my high school senior self would agree.