Freedom is a beautiful thing. It can also be a dangerous thing. Growing up in my household could be suffocating at times. My dad is a hard worker who, because of his job, has seen what real dangers exist in the world, dangers a teenage girl like me never take seriously. Because of this my dad was very protective of me and my siblings, tracking our phones and constantly checking in on us. It made him hard to talk to when all it seemed like he was doing was ruining my fun. My mom went along with whatever my dad decided, often acting as the enforcer of my dad’s rules. It made it hard to experience anything and it definitely made me naïve.
When I was in 10th grade, I decided I needed to get away. I needed to leave my house, my town, and all the people I knew. I needed a fresh start, an escape, and the only option I found was to go away for college. So I started looking at schools far far away, the farther the better. Eventually I compiled a list of schools all over the country, the farthest being in Hawaii. I envisioned my life as a college student, filled with late nights in the dorms and crazy parties with all my new friends. My life was going to be so much better once I was able to make my own decisions, without my parents around to ruin my fun. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
The moment my parents first left me alone in my dorm room to live without them was not as joyful as I thought I was going to be. I had been waiting for this day. The day I would leave home and start a new chapter in my life, one without my parent’s rules, free to make my own decisions. Despite this, the moment they closed the door and headed back home, I felt panicked. Here I was all alone, living with a suite full of girls I didn’t know, in a city that was totally unfamiliar. How was I supposed to live in this new place when Long Island was all I’ve ever known? How was I supposed to call this place my new home? Panicked was an understatement. I felt terrified.
When I look back on my first few months at Albany, there’s so many things that I wish I could change. I was adjusting to a new lifestyle and it was tough. I was building relationships with new people while trying to hold on to the ones I had at home. I was suddenly thrust into a world where I had nobody to tell me what to do. If I didn’t feel like going to class, I had nobody there to tell me otherwise. If I felt like going out and partying, I had nobody there to stop me. It really was the first time in my life I had to be solely responsible for myself and I definitely wasn’t making the right choices. My life was socially driven and school had taken a back seat. I floated through high school doing the bare minimum of work and thought that college would be just as easy. If I missed an assignment or class I would brush it off, convincing myself that it was just one time. I started to ignore my mother’s calls, trying to avoid any lectures about school. The times I would answer would lie to her about my days, making it seem like I was doing everything by the books. To her I was being an ideal student. In my eyes I was doing fine in school so why make her worry when I would sleep through a class. It wasn’t until I got home from school after my first semester, that I had a huge reality check. Its hard not to re evaluate your life when you get a 0.5 GPA. It’s hard not to when you disappoint your parents the way I did.
Next – Read from Zero Point Five to Hero.
Melissa F. Class of 2018 Majors: Spanish & Communication Blog Theme: Fierce & Freaked
Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
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