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Onward to college

NUAs of today, I have less than two months before I move in to my Northwestern University dorm. Now that I have come to realize the little time I have left before starting my freshman year of college, I have taken the time to contemplate the past few years and how the experiences brought on by the passage of time have contributed to my personal growth.

Looking back at my freshman year of high school, I chuckle at the shy timid person I was. But who could blame me? I was starting a new part of my life in a school where I knew absolutely no one. I didn’t know where I belonged, let alone who I was. But as time passed, and I became involved in honors track courses and extracurricular activities such as music and theatre, I found my place, my confidence and my personal identity.

Fast-forwarding to now, I am put in the same position I was in four years ago: I’m beginning a new part of my life in a school where I know absolutely no one. Although, it may seem a bit disheartening at first glance, I actually don’t feel so discouraged.  Yes, it’s a new school, yes, I won’t know anyone, and yes, the future seems pretty terrifying at the moment, but this time, I’m a young, confident, independent woman who is ready for whatever the world (or Northwestern) may throw at her.

If the past is any indication, these next few years of college, and the next few years after that, and so on will contribute even more to my character and I will become the person God has planned for me to be.

How have your personal experiences contributed to your personal growth?

Victoria Contreras is a summer intern with Women of the ELCA.

Comments (5)
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JoAnn Fuchs says:
Jul 28, 2014

Victoria, you will be just fine at college. A lot of prayers will go with you.

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Zan Lofgren says:
Jul 28, 2014

Best wishes on the next wonderful part of your life.

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Syd says:
Jul 29, 2014

As I sent my one daughter off to the university some 12 years ago, I learned many things as a parent. At the college orientation days I was reminded that my daughter was an adult and therefore the college would tell me nothing about her if I called. If a parent called to check up on grades-nothing. If a parent called to ask security to check on their child-nothing. I suddenly felt cut out of my daughters life after 18 years. I believe she felt the same withdrawl and it took a couple weeks for us as parents to see it. She had just lost a grandparent and was grieving in her own way. She was homesick and had never experienced that feeling before. She was in a new environment that she loved but suddenly felt like the stranger in a classroom of hundreds coming from a graduating class of approximately 30 students and friends. She started with a new campus job that wasn’t for her. When we realized these feelings, we had to give her lots of love, support and encouragement to help her find her path. We traveled to see her (about a 90 minute drive) several times a week, picked her up on the Friday and delivered her back on Sunday and calls in between. We sat many hours and cried. We gave her permission to quit the job-we didn’t care if she worked or not but she thought we did. We as parents need to be watchful with our children and our children need to be honest with parents. Campus tragedies can happen and I didn’t want my family to be a part of the statistics and so we did whatever we needed to do to get through the first months and then the days became better. I know you will be in touch with your parents and be honest about your needs. Each child and student moves forward at a different pace. It’s your journey now! Congratulations as you move forward :)

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Wanda says:
Jul 29, 2014

Live each day as it comes. Ask for help and be a part of the school. You sound like a self assured young person. May God bless you on this journey and may you know that God and others are there for you as needed.

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Maxine Amos says:
Jul 31, 2014

Victoria, it was a joy to meet you at the Triennial in Charlotte. As you begin a new phase of your life – college life, may you stay focused on the things that are important. Remember who you are and whose you are. Blessings to you as you journey forward.

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