As I pack up my dorm room for the first time, I am reminded by the girl, who picked out these new things a year ago. She was ecstatic, ready for an adventure, and a little scared. I am sad to say that some of her fears came true. My roommate hated me, and a spider bit me. But nothing could outweigh everything that I had learned and achieved.
I made four best friends and have countless other friends. I got As and Bs in all of my class—I’m still waiting on the results for this last one. I learned to be independent. I paid for my own snacks, and medicine. I made all of my own appointments. I made my own decisions. I lived alone for the majority of the year—the hateful roommate moved out before Thanksgiving. I also experienced things, traveled places, and met people I couldn’t have ever imagined. I went on a service trip in a group where I had no friends, but connected with them in a way that I cannot explain. I finished my first manuscript. I flew in a plane for the first time. I went to two national forensics—speech—tournaments. I found the beginnings of a family in forensics. I found a family at college.
All of these things are great and special, but the one thing that stands out to me more than anything else, I am following my dreams. Despite what the world says, despite what the job market keeps repeating, despite my own parents’ skepticism, I am going to school to become a better fiction writer. I am striving for my American Dream, even if some claim it is unreachable. I am chasing my dream and I am so proud of myself, because I have realized what a treasure it is to have this opportunity.
As I put the last of my things away, I understand that I am not the girl I was a year ago. I know I have changed. I am told that I have changed. Whether it is for the better or worse, only time will tell. All I can do is pray that I’ll keep changing for the better.