There it was - the sign, our exit – “Goucher College." The beginning of my next big adventure was about to begin. I had flown 3,000 miles across the country, and I was about to say goodbye to my mom, live on my own, make new friends, take challenging classes, and well, grow...a lot!
Let’s take a step back.
My name is Amelia. I am an only child who has grown up living with my amazing mom in California, traveling the world, learning and expanding my awareness at every step. I had been excited about going college since the summer before high school. I could not wait to decorate my dorm, and make a space completely my own (well, my half of the room at least).
I have a love for adventure and new experiences that has always thrived within me. Maybe it’s because I am a Sagittarius, or maybe my mom’s love of adventure rubbed off on me from the get-go. Either way, I have always loved travel, and have never really felt homesick when far from my mom and home. Instead, I feel like I would like to share these experiences with my mom, having her join me rather than going home. That’s all to say, I thought college would be a breeze. Not the classes necessarily, but the living on my own part, the social part- all of the stuff that makes college truly great! However, I was completely wrong.
After an amazing senior year of high school, where I felt like I knew every bit of myself, and could do anything I put my mind to, I got to college and felt 100% out of my comfort zone. It was strange. I was excited to be there, but more nervous than anything. I thought, “how in the world will I be able to make friends if I don’t even feel like myself?” So, my first semester, I was a bit of a hermit. I hung out with loads of people, and made friends, but also needed time to process all that was happening.
I was, and still am the exact same girl I was in high school, but so many more layers, if you will, have been added on to what makes me me. It’s a new level of maturity, I guess, which I am not so sure I like. However, it’s part of the extreme growth process. The President of Goucher says, “one must find comfort in the discomfort," and I think that is exactly what growth is. It’s like a butterfly. A butterfly was not born a butterfly, but was born a caterpillar, who then morphed into a cocoon, and while in the cocoon, was gooey mush. It then gets “reborn” as a beautiful, colorful butterfly.
I think we all grow through cycles similar to that. We have times in which we live our lives, perhaps enjoying ourselves fully, or perhaps not, when we have to turn inwards and grow severely. However, we emerge, and soar, making an impact in the world and feeling truly alive. Those are the times we strive for, but are also possibly the ones that last the least.
All in all, I’ve learned that my experience freshman year of college was not unique. We all went from being high school students that lived at home, and had a great circle of people, including our families, supporting us, to living on our own and fending for ourselves, and most importantly, growing.
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” -Benjamin Franklin
Amelia is a current student at Goucher College. She is a California woman exploring the world, who loves to travel and dance.