This post is a part of our weekly International Voices column, writing by UT students, for UT students. Enjoy!
When it hits August 2015 this year, it will mark two years since I moved to Austin. I often look back on my old self- fresh out of high school and embarking on a new journey- and even I am startled by the significant change that a new country and college in general can have on a person’s character.
I came from a very small high school where the graduating class only compromised of 36 people all of whom I had known since elementary school. Only one other person from my school- my best friend- had planned on coming to America for university, but she was going to be up north in Pennsylvania. After my parents left I had no trace of my old life except the framed pictures of my friends and family I kept by my bed. I had no idea how I was going to make friends, or even deal with a completely new education system. I must admit, the first semester was rocky. I didn’t know a lot of people and I stuck to myself whilst studying, which proved to be a terrible method. I didn’t join any new clubs because I didn’t know how to approach people I had never met and looking back on it, the first semester was definitely the hardest in terms of coping with all the hurdles thrown at me at once.
As I look back upon it now, I realize how the fear of putting myself out there prevented me from so many new college experiences that could have improved my first semester by far. However, I do thank my past self everyday for at least signing up for a First Year Interest group because that introduced me to some of the best people in my life, including my best friend. She introduced me to her other friends who I also quickly grew to love, and now are my future roommates. I adopted their healthy lifestyle and adventurous personalities and started joining clubs. I met more and more people which led me to the realization that even though America did seem like a world away from my parents and childhood friends, I was beginning to like the college me a lot more than high school me. I learned so many new things about culture, books, music and politics. I broadened my creative spirit, as I began to write creative pieces such as this blog for fun! I developed a very healthy lifestyle and began to work out every week- something I would have dismissed in high school. I eat much healthier in college than I did at home and in general- developed a new outlook on life.
So if you’re reading this, and you’re in my position or if you just finished college or if you’re about to embark on a new journey, take a few moments to reflect and see where you were just two years ago; I assure you, you won’t regret it.