To Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Never mind that I had never set foot in Michigan before.
I hardly had a choice: I wanted to go to a Christian liberal arts college where I could get my deaf education degree in less than five years. The ONLY school in all of America that met those criteria was Calvin College!
And just because I had to go there didn't make it any less terrifying. Here were my fears:
1.) I knew no one in Michigan. No one from my graduating class was going to college in Michigan. I would be lonely forever.
2.) College wouldn't be as fun as high school was.
3.) I wouldn't be able to relate to anyone else.
4.) Somebody would ask me the dreaded question:
But I was driven and ambitious and I knew that I really wanted that deaf education degree. So I went!
My parents flew me out to drop me off. (I'm sure they were terrified in a completely different way!)
I remember thinking that the campus looked so BIG and AMERICAN. I remember feeling so incredibly homesick for Europe. I remember alternating between an internal hissy fit and dramatic weepiness.
But the worst part? My mom tried to console me with these words:
"Don't worry honey. Soon, this place is gonna feel like home."
At the time, this felt like a knife going straight through my heart. To me, feeling at home in Michigan meant betraying my very identity as a Missionary Kid. Never! These words made me angry.
But of course, like most wisdom my mom gives me, she was absolutely right. If you asked me where home was now, I would most likely say "Michigan" (unless you had like 10 minutes to hear the whole story!)
Back then, however, I was depressed. And, if I'm being honest, too arrogant to understand that many other college freshmen had some of the same fears I did.
Looking back, I wish I had given America and college more of a chance. Instead, I retreated into myself most of that first year. I think I missed out on a lot of friendships that way.
How was your first year of college? Tell me, I'd love to know!