Today, I finished my last final, and survived my first semester of college.
I had those nights that I feared, those evenings where I shut the door and cried, feeling like I'd never make friends, that I'd always be alone. Sometimes, I would sit alone in my room, my door open, inviting others in, hoping others would come in, but instead, only their voices entered my room, their distant conversations about drugs and love and the world, and I would shut the door and cry. Why can they make friends and not me, I wondered? At times I was desperate, hopeless, refreshing facebook, looking at who was online, hoping that someone - anyone - would talk to me. At times, I slipped back into depression, not sleeping or eating for days, wondering when I would ever find a friend.
But those nights didn't happen all that often. I was surprised by how few of those there were, compared to the times I spent with others, talking for hours on end in the dining halls or on the grass or at Starbucks. I exchanged secrets with dear friends while spooning on the floor and intoxicated. I stayed up late with friends by my side. I began getting texts, phone calls, facebook messages, connexion testimonials. We had sleepovers, study sessions, and a lot of stripping. I began getting hugs and kisses, I began flirting and being flirted with, and my heart began to soar. This is college, I realized, and I am surviving - really, really surviving.
There are a few people/places/things/ideas I would like to thank for making this an amazing semester:
1. God. I prayed a lot this semester. I prayed in bed, on the floor, and in trees. (On another note, I've befriended many trees, Boulder has many great trees for climbing.) God helped me through by helping me understand what was amazing about my life, and how much hope I really had. Without unconditional faith, I couldn't have done it. Having completely given myself to Hir, I stayed on the right path, and found my way here.
2. The LGBTQA community. I quickly found my place within the LGBTQA community. I met so many amazing people through GSA, QI, Gather, and the trip to Washington DC for the National Equality March. Even when I met people outside queer clubs, many still ended up coming to the RC eventually. Even before I was queer, I always felt in place in the LGBTQA community, and college is no exception.
3. Colorado. Even when I thought that I could never belong at CU, that Boulder just wasn't my place, I looked at the flatirons, and everything seemed a little better. I love Colorado, and I couldn't imagine living anywhere but here, at foot of the most beautiful mountains, in such an amazing, beautiful town.
4. Education. My classes made everything worth while. I learned more this semester than ever before in my life, and my entire worldview has changed. Every single lecture I attended, every single article I read, every single paper I wrote absolutely blew my mind. Without being able to look forward to class, I would have never made it.
I finished my first semester of college. I am a sophomore standing. I turn 19 in five days. I'm growing up, and I'm terrified, but I'm glad there are things out there to help me through.