I often write on this blog about the value of leaving your comfort zone and learning to embrace change. In the past when I’ve written those posts, I’ve drawn on my experiences attending a new high school and overcoming my nerves to become involved in my school community. Recently, I experienced the biggest change in my life: I moved away from home to attend university.
Before I moved, I mentally equated it to the time when I left the high school I had attended to go to a brand new one. I would be starting at a new school where I didn’t know many people. There was a huge difference between these two experiences, though, and it was one that didn’t cross my mind until my move-in day. At my new school, I don’t have my family with me. This has been the hardest part about starting university. The moment my family waved goodbye, I broke down in tears. My life was changing, and I didn’t feel like I could handle it.
It wasn’t only my family who I was saying goodbye to. It was my friends, who were all off on their own post-secondary adventures; and it was my high school, and all of the memories I made there. Throughout the three years I spent at that school, I grew into a person I was, and still am incredibly proud of. I became more confident, a better leader, more passionate about my education, and, most importantly, I was really happy. Moving to a new city made me feel like I was moving away from the person I was in high school: but slowly, as this week has gone on, I’ve felt more and more like the version of myself that I love.
The thing is, though, I’m not in high school anymore—so I’ll never be the exact same person I was there. I saw a quote yesterday that read, “Every next level of your life will demand a different you.” I think those words perfectly sum up my transition to university. Moving to university is the next level in my life, and in order to succeed and be happy I need to learn new things and grow as a person while maintaining my core values.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, when I began attending my new high school I became involved in clubs, councils, and other co-curricular activities. Although I want to focus on my school work in university, I also want to get involved on campus; be it by writing for a student newspaper, or by joining a club or council. Today I attended an involvement fair, and, as I walked around, gathered pamphlets, and talked to upper year students, I felt a wave of familiarity wash over me. This, I thought, is what I love: getting involved, finding out how to make a difference, and how to be a leader.
Aside from the occasional mention in past posts, I don’t think I’ve really talked on this blog about what I’m actually studying in university. I’m in a journalism program, and I’m taking electives in international relations, human rights, politics, and crime. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I love writing. I’m really excited to be studying journalism. This week, as I’ve met other students in my program and heard from professors, my passion for journalism has been reinvigorated. It’s a changing industry, and I’m in a difficult program, but I know I’m ready for it.
In so many ways, university is a new beginning for me. I’m learning to live on my own, I’m living in a new city, and I’m beginning a new area of study. Despite all of these “new” things, there’s something about being here that feels very natural to me. It is, as I’ve alluded to, all of the things I’ve been passionate about in the past, lighting up my eyes all over again. I don’t feel like I’m taking on an entirely new beginning: I feel like I’m beginning again.
In her song “Begin Again”, Taylor Swift sings, “On a Wednesday, in a café, I watched it begin again.” For me, that lyric would go like this: on a Thursday, in my university dorm room, I watched it begin again. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.