Saturday, September 5, 2015

College Update

Alright so maybe I fell off of the face of the Earth for the entire month of August, but no one told me how emotional this college transition was going to turn out. So here I will take the time to catch you up all as to what I have been up to this past month until now.

  • Cultural shock. Just the atmosphere itself is different. Now I am lucky, no, EXCITED that I get to hear someone speak Spanish. When people would say that my hometown was like this safety bubble different from the rest of Texas, I did not obtain that full understanding until I actually left that bubble. That is the first of many things that I miss about home. I really hope to get over this cultural shock and learn to be able to connect with people here. 
  • Food is a responsibility not a privilege. If I want to eat I have to either be able to make it in the comfort of my dorm room (which I don't mind much because that is what I would do at home) or put my shoes on to head out to go grab something to eat. No more laying in bed and get the occasional texts from my mom of whether I want a fried egg or pancakes while I was still in bed. Also remembering to eat is important because as busy as that college life could get time managing is important to schedule when you are going to eat because you do not want to be that kid in the middle of a quiet room with a monster roaring for attention. 
    • Grocery shopping is also something that I haven't yet done but I will soon. Now I am going to be that lady who inspects all of her groceries to see if she is getting her money's worth of food. Adulthood is just one curious thing after the other. 
  • HOMESICKNESS. Not that I get homesick that often because I force myself to stay busy but when I have those times to reflect over my day, you can't help but miss your parents and your friends. On my first time going to church alone, I couldn't stop thinking about my mom and all the lovely people who I would see every Sunday. That was probably my biggest bump in the road but at least I went to church and continued moving forward. It's still a part of who I am even though I am starting a new chapter in my life and I think it's fine to be homesick so long as it doesn't get in the way of the actual studying and learning part which is the reason why I left in the first place. 
  • So many acquaintances, but still no friends. I have met so many people and seen so many people in these two weeks of school and it's so refreshing to be seeing people from all parts of the world speaking in their native tongue. So far I have not made any friends that I spend time on a regular basis outside of classroom hours (excluding my dorm roommate) but I am still trying to remain optimistic that I will soon find my people and be more comfortable at my campus.
  • I am now a Research Assistant in the Psychology department. Before I had left for college I received an email from my psychology major adviser stating that there was research assistant opportunities open since those who were research assistant are or already have graduated and needed new people to come fill in the spaces. At first I thought it was a long shot to apply for one of the positions because I honestly had no clue what I was getting myself into but my mentality of college being the time of experimentation I submitted my application. A few days after I had started my classes, I received an email from the person in charge of the study asking when was a good time that I could meet for an interview. Here I am thinking that, alright everyone gets interviewed it's reasonable because they don't want to blindly accept someone without knowing a few things about them. On that Friday (which was last week if we want to be more specific) of my interview I actually tried on my appearance, straightened my hair, applied makeup, ironed out my shirt, I wanted to make a good impression. Arriving there 15 minutes before my interview I was mustering the courage I had to actually knock on the door because I was already waiting outside the door. Turns out that the interview went a lot smoother than I expected, all the nervous feelings I had kind of just remained outside of the door and the interview felt more like a casual conversation between the graduate student who was interviewing me and myself. What stood out from the whole interview that he normally does not get undergraduate freshmen applying for research assistants this soon into their college career but that my application stood out. I STOOD OUT. And well he also told me that normally he does not pick freshmen for the position but he chose me. ME. I couldn't have felt any more prouder in myself that day. I am starting this Tuesday and I am pretty excited as to what I get to do.
  • Am I scared? A constant question I ask myself, but I can't quite decide if I am really scared to just be in a new environment handling different situations or I feel more independent but just wishing to have someone that tags along with me so I don't feel as lonely. For the most part, I don't think much about the thought of being alone and doing things for myself. Perhaps this is the major turning point to teenager into the starting of adulthood. I know that if my mom was still around I would stay near here but it's kind of hard when we're 335 miles apart from one another. You come to that point that you just stop thinking about the things that are not important and actual pinpoint want needs to get done and you do it. No one is going to be telling me,  "Isabel, did you do your laundry?" "Did you eat?" "Have you showered?" "How about that homework?" It's all on me (not that my parents had to constantly ask me these questions) but it feels great, I feel like I am more in control of my life. 
  • Limits are well tested. Now that I don't really have a comfort zone anymore because even in my dorm room I am not completely by myself with my roommate, your limits are tested constantly. As frustrating as there is no comfort zone to run to and take cover, I am now obligated to speak and share my ideas. I have spoken up when I need to and I have been speaking with people that I barely know which is a big step for me since I like to keep to myself. So I have this logic that if I keep talking, I will soon find that one friend. 
  • Speaking about roommates... We actually get along pretty well! I only have one roommate, and I am really blessed that she is my roommate because even though she may not know it, she is the only person who listens to me here at school in person. To have that opportunity to speak to someone personally about one's problems or just something on my mind, I think that is how I am keeping myself emotionally stable here to be honest. 
  • Dorm room is a bit snug but it's comfortable and for that I can't complain. I have mixed feelings about having a dorm room that is almost at the end of the hall away from the elevators but at least I am closer to the stairs so in case of any emergency that results in evacuating the building I have that leverage. I am still getting used to having to walk around everywhere with my keys, I am surprised that I haven't locked myself out of my dorm room yet. *knock on wood*
  • Communal showers are not bad at all! Even though I shower in my cheap flip flops everyday, I can't complain about the communal showers. There is nothing embarrassing about them either because just as a bathroom is made for everyone (in this case the ladies bathroom) has their business and does their business and then they leave. All the girls who I have been in the bathroom with have been respectful which is a plus side. There is enough space to not feel so cramped in one shower stall and there is also enough space to change clothes. THE SHOWER STALLS CAN CLOSE WHICH MAKES ME FEEL A WHOLE LOT SECURE. So yeah and the toilets are clean, thankful for the cleaning ladies they do such an amazing job keeping those bathrooms clean.
  • Football games? Even though I may go by myself, I am planning to go to my first football game next Saturday (we had our first football game today) but I want to go the one next week because I play against my brother's college and I want to be there when I kick his butt! aha
For those of you who are college freshmen just as myself we are in this together! I wouldn't be surprised if you can entirely relate to what I have been feeling in just these last few weeks. For those who are planning on going to college soon, just know that college isn't as bad as you think it will be. I still have those fears but I am sure you will be fine. Things just take time to settle in so take your time and take advantage of all those opportunities that you see and hear about! You will soon find your people!

How was your first weeks as a college freshman?

xx Chavelita

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