Truthfully, before I got here, I never thought of what I expected from studying in Michigan. Mostly I expected that I'd just study, get a degree, pass some actuarial exams maybe, and then just leave.
Funny how I never thought of all the friends I'd make (and maybe enemies?) and the special people I'd discover. Maybe I did consider getting close to my housemates, Edda and Amirah, but I never thought they'd be people I'd spill my deepest secrets to, find them when I need a cry. And I never thought for a second that people like Syasya, Anis, Nadia, Zainab, I never thought that they'd become people I would just randomly text, talking about whatever shit.
What's even funnier is how much I found myself here.
This (almost) one year seems to have changed my life course. From stuff I thought that I wanted to do, but I find out that I don't, to the people I thought I'd spend my whole life being close to becoming a stranger.
I always thought I'd become an actuary one day, but now I don't think that vision is as concrete as it was before this.
I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years, after all these years of kidding myself that he could be the guy I'll spend my life with.
And it's not that I discovered some ground-breaking truth about me. It's more that I have always known, but didn't dare to act on it. I didn't dare to disappoint people around me, or I just thought I could deal with it, survive it. What I've realized though after these past months is the need to do things that you want. Not what others want or what others expect you to do.
You need to love yourself enough to do things that will make you happy. I found the need to stop doing things others expect me to do just because I was scared of hurting feelings. I needed to stop being a pushover. Forget social stigma or the judgements people will make about you.
And frankly if they're your true friends, they won't judge and talk about you. They'll instead lay it out for you, talk to you about it, cause they love you.
I thought I've learnt all there was about friendship. But my friends proved that there's more to just being there for you when you're emotionally unstable. They talked to me when they thought something I did wasn't right. They were honest with me when they didn't agree with me. Cause they truly love me and they don't want to see me destruct myself. They see the things that I'm blinded to, and they try to guide me out of the irrationality that I lose myself in.
As I end my freshman year, I'm allowing myself to get emotional over all the things that I've discovered this past year: things about myself that I finally had the strength to confront, and what it means to be a true friend. I'm letting myself acknowledge how much stronger of a person I am now.
And let's hope that lasts.
Here's to 3 more (hopefully) great years.