8. Imagine how your life would be different if a particular significant moment/detail in your life was altered or never happened.
Today’s topic is a bit worrisome for me on a couple of levels. First: I constantly analyze every single decision to see if I could have done something different and had a better outcome. Second: there so many things in my past that could change and completely realign my life as it is now, a life I kind of like most of the time.
My first thought was ‘what if I hadn’t dropped out of high school’? But I think I’m going to save that one for day 17 because, trust me, that’s the moment I knew the rest of my life would be different.
So then I remembered something even more applicable for today’s prompt. The day I found out I didn’t get into my first choice university.
Most of my life, I knew I wanted to major in English and I’d always been told that UNCW had one of the best English programs in the state. I applied, I had the grades, and then I just had to wait. Well, I never heard back so I finally contacted them. Apparently, my transcripts got lost in the mail between my community college and UNCW. They were filled up for the fall but would gladly have me in January if I was still interested.
Well, I didn’t want to wait so I applied to ECU in July of 2011 and got in, starting the next month. Now, I can’t even imagine going anywhere else.
If I had waited for January, I wouldn’t have my friend or roommates that I talked about yesterday. I definitely wouldn’t have decided on a second major. I honestly don’t think I would have done as well either. But, most importantly, I wouldn’t be the person I am now.
ECU changed me for the better. I made genuine friends here. I grew into my own skin here. I fell in love with myself here.
You see all those TV shows where the main character goes off to college and becomes the person they were always meant to be and you think it’s all so cliched and unrealistic. But it’s not. It happened to me. Even on my worst day, when my roommates are driving me up the wall and I’m stressed out from finals and I’m working two jobs that I hate and I’m trying to figure out why I ever thought I was cut out for this, I am happier in this tiny apartment in the busy city than I ever was back home, surrounded by comfort and familiarity.
I can’t imagine not having that now. I can’t imagine going anywhere else.
So maybe that’s not the point of today’s topic. Maybe I was supposed to imagine the life I could have lead at UNCW, spending down time at the beach or hanging out at local shops as-seen-on-One-Tree-Hill. But I’d rather be right here, sitting in my bed, in my freezing apartment, while I listen to my roommate making food and complain about her first day back in class. This is me. This is home.