August 26, 2015

Why I'm Here (Going to College Away From Home)


Getting personal on the blog today because I feel this is an important post to share. I'll apologize now for the fact that my blog is currently so heavily saturated with college-themed posts. I am inspired by what's around me and what's going on in my life, and since I'm currently sitting at my college desk and all the to-do lists scattered around me say "order books" and "print syllabi", this is the current happening.

So, if you know me, you know that I can be the most anxious thing on the planet sometimes. I was that girl that woke your parents up at sleepovers asking to go home because I missed my mom...until 7th grade. I was (am) a cryer. I've gone to camp twice in my life and both times I came home early because I was so anxious about being away from home that I worried myself sick. I still don't do sleepovers and I will never, ever go to sleep-away camp again. That's just me. 

So it shocked the world when I decided to go to college 9 hours away in Arkansas. It even shocked me a little bit. 

Up until September of my senior year, I was planning to stay in Texas for college. I couldn't bear the thought of being more than 4 hours away. One day, I realized I simply didn't want to go to any of the schools in Texas. Don't get me wrong, we have great schools, but none of them were right for me and what I wanted to do. I knew I would be hurting myself by giving up what I really wanted to do just to feel comfortable. I knew what I wanted to study since I was in 6th grade and the schools that were perfect for that were all out of state.

I cried at the realization as I sat on my couch avoiding homework after a long day at school. I texted my best friend because she's the best at cheering me up, and she invited me to visit the University of Arkansas with her the next Friday.

We watched a whole season of Gossip Girl in the backseat of her mom's Seqouia and then we looked out the window and saw the mountains. Mountains. I didn't know these existed! Is our car going to go up these? Whoa. 

Touring the campus, I got the "when you know, you know" feeling. I knew I wanted to see Old Main as I walked to class, I wanted to make that heinous noise and do that weird arm movement where you "call the hogs" at sports games. (YouTube it if you don't know what I'm talking about.) I knew I wanted to be there.

So, if you didn't already know, my boyfriend goes here, too. I get asked a lot if we planned to go to the same college and the answer is no. Cameron is a year older than me, so he actually had already started college classes as a finance major (he has now switched to supply-chain management) by the time I was visiting colleges. The fun fact is that Cameron's dad actually went to the University of Arkansas, so he had always known about it and just hadn't ever visited. In his pursuit for the perfect place for him, he visited the university about two months after I did. I hadn't told him any of my thoughts on the place which was hard because I was practically glowing when I came back from my trip. We made our college decisions separately, but it's a great blessing that we both fell in love with the UofA and get to be here together.

A typical conversation about me going to the UofA would start off like "Wow! That's so far away, good for you!" and the next sentence would be "Oh, well you have Cameron, you'll be fine".

Don't ever tell an anxiety-ridden teenage girl that she'll be fine.

I was so proud of myself for making the decision to face my biggest fear of separation anxiety, but something about those words hurt my feelings. If you've said them to me, I'm not mad at you. I totally understand where you're coming from.

Yes, it is easier having Cam here (and my other best friend, Becca, who I saw the university with). In fact, some days I question whether I could be here without them. Cam and I have been together for almost five years and he's honestly my best friend. He loved me during my too-much eyeliner and Miss Me jeans phase and that just creates a special bond. (Ha, ha). And Becca and I have been best friends since we were in preschool. I still get homesick even though they're here. I still get stressed about tests. I still wish sometimes that I could be home with my family. 

So why am I here? I just pushed myself. I knew if I didn't leave for college, I would never leave and I would never grow. This isn't true for everyone; I'm not saying you should go to college far, far away. Personally, for me, this was my version of skydiving. Do something you're afraid of because it's a once in a lifetime chance.

I wrote this not only to share how I got here, but to encourage those who read it to have some "skydiving" moments, especially in college. Keg stands and all nighters don't count, although those can be perceived as impressive. Just do something to push yourself in a positive way. Try out for a club sports team if you've previously been hesitant about sports. Join a club if you're really shy. Sign up to lead something if you usually are behind-the-scenes. Whatever it is, just give it a try. You could end up loving the decision you made, and it could end up having a great and lasting effect on who you are as a person.

I hope you all have a great second half of the week! And college readers, you girls are rockstars and I hope you have an amazing school year.

X,

Cristina



11 comments:

  1. This post actually made me teary-eyed, I still am a cryer too! I am also not going to stay in-state for college, and I've been looking down south at colleges!
    xo, Syd
    www.sincerelysyd9.blogspot.com

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    1. Aww, I'm so glad you could relate. Don't ever be afraid about going out of state! And if you ever have any questions about Arkansas or Texas colleges (I've toured almost all of them!) feel free to email me :) Have a great school year!

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  2. I seriously connected to this post on a spiritual level. LOVED it. This is my first time on your blog and am so glad I found it! Keep doing what you're doing! Can't wait to read more :) Xoxo, Laura

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    1. Aw, thank you so much Laura! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it. Have a great week :)

      X!

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  3. I swear we really were separated at birth or something. They way you describe your anxiety is exactly like me. (I was always the person to call my mom at sleepovers to pick me up!) I'm also 9 hours away from home, and even though I'm still in the same state it's hard! I feel the same way you do about leaving, it's really tough, but in the end I think it's made me realize that I had to push myself out of my comfort zone or I never would have left home!

    xo
    Sami

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    1. Haha, literally twins! And I agree, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone really forces you to grow. I hope your school year is awesome :)

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  5. Hi I know this is a little bit late for a response but could you tell me about abilene christian university? Or do you know of anyone who goes there? And btw I love your blog you're so creative and it's truly inspirational to me as a college freshman. Thanks again!

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    1. Thanks so much for reading! I do not know anything about ACU except that a couple kids from my high school went there. If you're interested in a school, I recommend scheduling a visit to tour the campus or checking them out on their website. X!

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    2. Okay thanks so much! I'll definitely do that!

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