The most difficult part about going to Texas was the sheer magnitude of uncertainty that surrounded the next four years of my life. What would my classes be like? Would my grades be okay? Would I go to the gym on a regular basis? And above all, who would my friends be? These were all questions that could never be answered in a single moment, only unraveling as time went on.
I spent many nights lying in bed, trying to conjure up ideas about the kinds of friends and the kinds of times I’d have in college. Attempting to imagine multiple distinct, vivid personalities was hard, but I wanted to know what life would be like. My future days, nights, weekends, friend groups, these were all complicated, jumbled results of the people I was about to meet in a few short months.
It was, thankfully, more exciting than frightening.
This vast undefined expanse has been a theme of college so far—knowing that there are good things that are going to happen that I can’t fathom quite yet, so many fun trips and good laughs, things I’ll learn and things I will be glad to have gone through. Constantly reminding myself that good things lie ahead has been crucial to making leaving home the first and second time easier. Jumping in is a thousand times harder when you don’t know what you’re jumping into.
In every new class, or club meeting, or lunch table I showed up to, I’d be met with a miscellaneous arrangement of eyes, noses, and mouths in combinations I’d never seen before. I’d wonder which faces would become familiar, which would become friendly, and which I’d never think twice about again. Meeting new people was a constant wondering of “who will they be to me in the future?” The answers to that question were never clear to me then, but as the weeks passed by, I began to have clarity.
The boy hunched over his notes two desks down in my Dancing America class? He’s one of my best friends now. The people in that cramped classroom in the basement of the civil engineering building? They were the nineteen people I credit to my first semester’s success.
It’s scary, no doubt, knowing that I’ve only known these people since August at most and the depth of our relationships is still developing. It’s only been half a year, and while in some respect it feels like forever, it’s only a small fraction of the time that I’ve known some of the other people in my life.
But my friends here at UT are always evolving, fading, and appearing, all in all coalescing into a support group that I could never handle college without. And while I am forever wondering about this semester, next semester, and the rest of college as a whole, with every new person I meet, I slowly expand the circle of “people I’d consider saying hello to if I ever saw them in passing”—making life on this fifty-thousand-student campus seem a little less daunting.