It’s who you are.

It’s getting colder every day, and I am surprised about how well I have known this place.

I moved here a year ago, in tears. I wasn’t happy about this change, because I went to a good high school in Vietnam where I met all the soulmates I had ever wished for. And leaving all those memories behind was as hard as getting a cold shower on a cold day. I could do that, it was just too hard and not worth it. Jet lags, moving in, friendship, family, etc. all those things kept me from being happy. I cried a lot, and it was hard to find friends also because most of the people I know did not have the same interest as I had (indeed not many people like the same things I do). Those first days, months, and years were the transition. I told my mom I would not want my sister to leave the family at the age of sixteen, just simply because these changes would be too sensitive and she wouldn’t even an adult yet.

I thought about all those external forces that kept me from happiness.

Until I understood it who I am that makes the difference.

I was that student who went to school and went back home right after my last classes. I went home early and rested, while my housemate always took the late bus home. I supposed I was taking care of myself by sleeping a decent amount of sleep, but after a while I realized I could have done more than that.

I could have stayed after class for a while to talk to my friends. I could have played Frisbee and at the same time get to know other people. I just didn’t do that, because I didn’t have the gut to step out of my comfort zone and look around. I have missed so many, so many things before I realize they won’t last forever.

I didn’t know I was better than what I thought about myself. I wasn’t just a nerd, or just an introvert. I was someone who understand greater things other than textbooks – people, and I was someone who know deeper feelings other than just her own. I got involved more in clubs and classes. I talked more and noticed more. Instead of staying in the library doing home work while having lunch, I would sit in the dining hall so that others would see me and talk to me. These little changes that I made for myself worked and led me to have closer friends who know me on a deeper level and whom I shared more of myself.

My current school would have been different. I wouldn’t feel the joy of going to school if it is not a community that embraces me whenever I am there. But this joy is what I seek, because I challenge myself a little every day to step out of my comfort zone, to stop reading books (although I still) and start reading people.

I see great stories in people’s eyes, and I know this is a great choice.

No matter where I would end up being, I have earned great experiences that I would want to make the community I am going to a home.

Published by Thi Le


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