Today is the day. Today, I’m moving to my new home for the next four years: The University of Chicago.
As I write this flying to from San Francisco to O’Hare after a nearly three-hour delay, I honestly do not know what to think about this moment. As I write this final blog post as a non-college student, I just wanted to take time to reflect on everything that led up to this moment, this big day.
Four years ago, I embarked on this journey called high school where I didn’t know how I would make it through. I chronicled those challenges in prior posts, but in short, I didn’t know anyone when I arrived on campus with 2,000 foreign faces. All I wanted to do is be heard, to share friendships that could carry me through life, and most of all, carry on my passion for learning.
Amidst all of the different chaotic moments of confusion, uncertainty about whether I wanted to be at school, frustrating relationships with peers, and a sole focus on STEM, I didn’t know how I’d make it in college, heck even makes it to college in a hopeful, eager package. Seeing the examples of my older cousins at great schools, my parents immigrating from Ethiopia and making it here, I was afraid I wasn’t going to be enough, that I didn’t deserve the opportunities I did because I couldn’t see success in the same ways for a long time.
But, somehow, things began to come together. The newspaper, my adventures at Columbia, this blog, all gave me a joy I didn’t know was possible. I could live, begin to thrive as a human, and start growing into the person I wanted to become.
These past four months, really a lifetime, of waiting for the day I would move into college has slowly crept by. I’ve spent a ton of time toggling life career paths, questioning whether I was making the right decision to go with social sciences, whether I made the most of high school chasing today. I wanted to be here, today, embarking on this new path, since I could remember learning about college.
But now that I’m finally at this point, I’m going to try something a bit new for me, something I practiced a bit more this summer:
Live for today.
I know it will be hard, but I want to be more present. These next four years will go by almost certainly faster than the drawn-out time that was high school. Stick to taking photos because I love taking them, but put it away to live through my own eyes than throw a viewfinder. Whether it is exploring Chicago or traveling elsewhere, I just want to experience new worlds and opportunities.
Living for today means yes planning for the future, but focusing on the micro, to do the best I can today for tomorrow. I don’t want to be paralyzed by fear anymore about making a mistake in the short term when I know that these four years are my stepping stone to bigger ventures.
As I’m moving in today, as I’m meeting new friends for the first time, as I’m settling into Chicago, I’ll be trying consciously to live by this, to continue my growth in a way that allows me to be the best person I can be. I’ll continue documenting and writing about my adventures here, and with installment #100 coming next week, I’m ecstatic to continue the blog from my new home.