Hi! My name is Tori Setayesh and I currently a sophomore at Indiana University. I am pursuing a major in International Studies and a minor in Marketing. I am originally from Santa Monica, CA and deciding to attend a university more than 2,000 miles away has been both challenging and rewarding. Thats what college is suppose to be.
The day your parents drive away and leave you with nothing but a room approximately 12×12 feet and not enough meal points, will be both horrifying and invigorating. You will come to terms with two very important truths this day. 1.) you are completely on your own 2.) You are capable. You made it this far and that in its self says mounds about your perseverance and competence.
You should know that it’s okay to cry when your parents leave. It’s also to binge eat and watch Netflix when you’re homesick. Its okay if you stay in on a Friday night because you’re feeling tired from a long week. All of it is okay. Its natural. Don’t push yourself to be someone or something that you’re not comfortable with. This is your do over or your do again. Make it everything you want.
I hope you’re ready for communal showers and the freshmen 15, both of which are about to become very prevalent in your life. There are various challenges you will be confronted with, but no one seems to talk about the most difficult one-you. If you wake up one day to find that your identity has been stripped and your world has been turned upside down, then congratulations, you’re officially college freshmen. High school is no longer relevant. The experiences, the friends, the relationships etc., when you step foot on campus, those things don’t matter. It can be scary because sometimes these things are the fundamental building blocks to our character and when they are taken away we get lost.
In high school, I was identified by who my friends were, what elementary/middle school I attended, what sports I played and what parties I attended. These things were the building blocks to my identity. They gave me a shallow sense of self and belonging. When all this was taken away I was petrified. For the first time in my life I had to contemplate who I was deeper than surface level. Loosing these things meant loosing myself and for a brief moment I felt empty, as if I lost the essence of what made me who I was. It was during this internal struggle, I realized this was actually what id been waiting for. This was my chance to start all over. It was my chance to form an identity free of everything that no longer mattered to me.
So I want you to be ready for this. You’re going to change. When you detach from all the things that once were, its inevitable. You might find that your interest and passions fluctuate as well. Its okay. Its okay if you feel lost. It’s okay if you change your major or your friends or your hair. It’s okay if you change everything.
I have found that my struggle was everything it needed to be for me. It allowed for me to create an identity that is entirely my own and it turns out it suits me a whole lot better. I hope yours does too. Good luck! You’re going to do great.