College Edition: The Greatest Lesson I Learned

I created this blog about 1.5 years ago, intending to post regularly, but after about a month of having it, I slowly started posting less and less and less. I took about a six month break while I was adjusting to my first semester of college, but cutting the BS, I was just lazy.

My first semester at Chapman University was definitely eye-opening and full of great experiences. I joined a social sorority (Kappa Alpha Theta), stayed on top of all my classes, and developed incredible friendships. I’m lucky to be in Southern California and surrounded by such amazing people and talent. Having looked forward to college for the majority of high school, college definitely surpassed my standards – however, in a different way than you may think.

My first semester of college wasn’t rainbows and butterflies. The first month was perfect – all the new experiences thrown at me was so exciting. I was always going out at night, meeting cute boys, going to new places, etc. I was on a constant high. The prospect of a new start was thrilling and leaving Arizona was liberating. However, like everything else in life, once the newness started to fade, reality kicked in. Everything that once appealed to me appeared to have flaws and even the slightest mishap in my day caused me to feel so sad. It was like I was experiencing withdrawal.

The feelings I experienced was not Chapman specific though. This could’ve easily happened at any other college or in another situation with completely different circumstances. However, the lesson I learned was that I cannot depend my own happiness on external factors – a simple advice or so it seems. This advice is not a new concept for me, but it definitely is one that takes a lot of awareness and reminding.

While I started the semester off very confident and optimistic, that began to fade as the months went on. I fit in at Chapman and like(d) it but after months, I realized that what I truly wanted was different than what I had. I came to Chapman thinking there’d be more racial diversity than Scottsdale, but that was definitely not the case and frankly, I didn’t feel like there was enough passion or competition among the students. For someone who thrives from the energy around me, I felt like the lack of it was not pushing me hard enough academically.

I think another big thing that held me back in my first semester was the constant, lingering thoughts of USC over my head. I compared what life would be like there to here and I don’t think I was able to fully appreciate and absorb Chapman because of it. However because USC is my dream school to this day and I still believe that’s where I’m destined to be, I applied again. Now whether I’ll get enough financial aid (the determining factor for attendance) is up in the air, but for now, I’m applying to scholarships and living life.

As I begin my second semester, I want to go into it with the same positive attitude I had going into Chapman my first semester. I want to continue to strengthen the friendships I’ve gained with friends and professors, and meet even more people who I could connect with on a deeper level. More importantly, I want to focus more on pursuing my passions and taking care of myself.

When I say college surpassed my standards, I don’t mean it because it was perfect, but because I was able to learn so much from the (not so good) experiences in college. It allowed me to develop a greater sense of identity through lots of intellectual conversations and time soul searching. On a positive note, college is so much fun, friends are amazing, and I’m happy.

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