First off, let me say that I am a completely different person than I started out as at the beginning of this semester; when people say that college changes you, they’re not joking.
At the beginning of the semester, I was so excited to take the path of an art student. But somewhere in the middle, I decided that it wasn’t for me. The program is very rigorous, but in the ways that I did not like. Rather than learning new content, I felt like I was trapped with project after project without a absorbing any information. Talking to others who were well versed in subjects such as politics, history, science, and other academic subjects made me envious. I saw all of these students becoming brighter and brighter by the day, but my brain felt stagnant. Not learning anything is the worst feeling for me, especially since I’m paying for it. What inspired me to choose my new major was the fact that I had helped someone. I helped my friend who was scared to start weight-lifting get into shape. I saw how she started out self-doubting and insecure and slowly, but surely, redeem herself and find confidence through it. The fact that I could help someone in that way made me feel so accomplished and even proud of what I did (which is something that doesn’t happen for me too often). I want to be a personal trainer or someone who can help people find that confidence. I just want to help people, and I feel like this is the best way that I can do it.
As a person, I have also changed a lot. I really feel like I’ve matured. I already considered myself very independent and mature before I came to OSU, but I feel even more like an adult now that I look back at this first semester. I was forced into this completely different environment away from what I’ve been comfortable with my whole life. Back in my small hometown, I had a long-term friend group established, I could drive ten minutes and see family whenever I wanted, I was inexperienced and blissfully ignorant in many, many ways. Now, I have to really go out of my way to find myself and my place in this world. There are so many kinds of people and things to do at a big school like this, you can never know what to expect. I feel like I was kind of a “yes-man” in high school. I had the same interests that my friends had. We discussed the same stuff over and over and everyone was just super similar. I was scared to say things that I actually believed in because I was afraid of being disregarded or not fitting in. Now, I just say whatever is on my mind, and if someone doesn’t like it, then I can know that they are not someone that I should talk to. I’ve definitely opened my eyes to the outside world, that is, I’m paying more attention to what’s going on in the world. Back in my hometown, I was stuck in my little bubble and everything was jolly and good. Now, I really want to know what’s going on in the world. I want to be with the times, and not be ignorant or say things just because the people around me are saying them. I’ve realized that I’m a lot less liberal than I thought. I was “liberal” because my friends claimed they were. Now, I’m just skeptical about every damn thing, and it really calls for much more interesting conversations.
The way I deal with the people around me has changed, too. Like I said before, I’ve become more true to myself. I’m more curt and honest about how I feel. As much as I love my friends back in Missouri, I just didn’t have the urge to keep in touch with them as much as they wanted to with me. I had a really close-knit group of friends, and they would want to do things like call every other weekend, but I just felt like that took me away from the present moment and would not allow for my own growth. It was nothing against them, I just had no desire to chat; I wanted to wait until break when we saw each other in person and then we would be able to catch up. Of course, there was a lack of c0mmunication, and we had a small dispute. Since then, we’ve reconciled a bit and created a compromise. To put it shortly, I’ve discovered that even if I really care for others, I’m still terribly independent and can move forward and adapt to change a lot easier than many people can.
I’m also experiencing my first relationship. It’s a long-distance one with a guy who’s training to be a Navy S.E.A.L. It’s really tested my patience and discipline as a person. I can’t express how hard it is to see other couples and not be envious that they can see each other often, while I have to wait long spans of time to see Mason for short weekends. I’m learning that for me, love really doesn’t just come. It takes a lot of effort: being able to confront your partner about issues you have with them, keeping up with communication, and becoming fluent in forgiveness and acceptance. It’s a long, slow burn that I have to work for, but in some ways, I’m really glad that I’s skeptical of love. When I finally realized that I was in love with Mason, it was just the most redeeming feeling in the entire world. I just wanted to give my whole self to him, and it’s a feeling that I want to hold on to for as long as I can.
I’m really excited for next semester. Even though. I really didn’t get what I wanted to out of my classes, I’ve still made progress and learned about myself outside of class. I’m just so glad that I could see the problem I had and went out of my way to fix it and change my course. That takes a lot of bravery, and balls. And I only see my balls getting bigger from here on out.