Back home, when I was about to leave. I was staring at every tiny, little detail I can possibly remember of my pink theme room, from my brown cabinet to my ten year old bed while feeling the cold misty air of the night, I realized that this will be my last stay in my private haven for the rest of the first semester of my so called “college life”.

I woke up early that morning feeling every bit of emotion burning inside of me. I was excited for all the great opportunities that could possibly happen there. Nervous, even, for all the problems, challenges and all the nerve wrecking, mind boggling scenarios that usually happen or popped out of nowhere when you least expect it. Then, the idea of leaving finally hit me. The fact immediately sank in my mind, the undeniable truth that together with leaving for school, I’d also be leaving the people whom I love and cherish the most and who means a lot to me. They are my friends who’s been with me during my ups and downs; my siblings, even though they’re quite annoying and irritating sometimes; my mom and dad whose untiring patience and support push me to do my best; the family, barkada and other gatherings that I’m surely gonna miss.

In the terminal I’ve been trying so hard to fight my tears back. I wanted to look brave and strong, so sure of myself in front of them. But the truth is, I have no idea how I’m going to do all that’s waiting for me there all by myself. The fact that I’ll be starting all over again in a new place full of new people, scared me a lot.

Arriving at VSU seemed so bizarre. I was not sure if I could find people whom I could call my family here. Not even sure if I can find a new set of friends or if I could truly fit in. I felt so naïve. The place felt so strange and anonymous. And I thought “will I ever make it here?”

As the day went by, slowly I started to mingle with others, reached out, talked and even laughed with them. I then realized that most of us felt the same way; that most of us had the same questions, problems and doubts inside of us. It’s just us, that can fill in the space we’re experiencing right now. Given enough time everybody can find their own clique and feel comfortable and at home. Fitting in seemed the least of my problems.

It’s not how much you can offer to others for them to like you but rather who accepts you for who you are. I realize that I had to cross beyond my borders, to fully achieve what I’m aiming for; to sacrifice some things in order to get greater rewards in the end. Sure I may not see pink walls when I wake up in the morning or have my breakfast ready, but now, I’m learning. Now I can see the advantages of living away from the people I grew up with. Gradually, I’m gaining independence, learning how to make wise decisions to get the best results; to stand on my own feet and learning how to budget which is really necessary because I can’t afford to starve here. Meeting new people from different walks of life is the most exciting part. Being a freshie means everything’s new and exciting. Come to think of it, I’ve realized so many things since the day I said goodbye.

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