“What is life after high school?” she asked me.
I shrugged and wiped away an escaping tear as I sat, slumped over, on my bed.
“I didn’t know either…” she confessed, looking off into the distance. “But as time went on, I began to figure it out.” Her dark, almond-shaped eyes met mine with intensity. “It’s about finding yourself. Who you are…what you like…what you want to do…that’s the life that you’ll have after high school. It’s no longer strictly about academics.”
I nodded, desperately soaking up all the wisdom of the tall woman that sat reclined in the spare desk-chair I had in my room.
“You have to be open to change, Victoria. It’s the only constant in your life and once you accept that change will always happen, then you will be able to grow and actually enjoy college.”
I pursed my lips, unsure if I had fully embraced the change that I was currently experiencing. Years prior to the fateful move-in day, I was eager to embrace the change that I was bound to experience because I hated my life. I hated myself.
But after some self-discovery and all the connections I made this past year, I guess change became less desirable…I was in love, I had a best friend…I had a lot of friends actually. I finally accepted who I was…and although there were many bad experiences that happened too, overall, my life was great. I loved it. I loved myself.
Have the changes I experienced last year prevented me from wanting to experience more change?
“So how have you been?” she asked as she sat beside me on the small couch in the CLAC house. It stands for the Center of Latino Arts and Culture. She had suggested that I come visit her there one day because there’s a great community where I can meet other fellow Latina(o) people.
“Better,” I replied. “I’ve met at least one new person everyday…I’ve actually been getting out of my dorm.”
Then I told her all about how I won a prize at a club I’m in, treating myself to new jewelry and got a new book,
She smiled at me. “That’s great to hear.”
I returned her smile genuinely and looked back at the artwork that towered over us.
The piece was a portrayal of a woman’s love letters to her first true love…toward the last few love letters, the paper was torn because her first true love fell apart. It was perfectly ironic.
“Want to walk with me to class?” she inquired.
As we made our way down the street, she kept waving “hello” to people that passed and made some stops to chat with people she knew.
“Bye, nice see you again!” she called after Kyle, a guy she had a business class with. Then we continued on our way.
“I think it’s important,” she began, “that when you meet new people…you kind of adapt. I don’t mean like, you change who you are…but rather that you adapt like a chamelion. Allow yourself to adjust to new friendships.”
I nodded, clinging onto her every last word as my saving grace.
“Thanks for helping me out, by the way. Your advice and support has really helped me so far, and it’s only been a week,” I said.
“Of course, it’s what I’m here for,” she replied confidently.
“Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any better.”
And here’s a pic of my outfit yesterday, because I thought I looked cute…
Here’s a pic of my interesting makeup today, it’s copper and blue in the outer corners.
Finally, here’s a blurry pic of my outfit today, I felt warm, fuzzy, and cute.