One of the most daunting aspects of the transition from high school to college is the prospect of independence.
At Princeton, I have grown into my independence, learning to take charge of what I want to do, who I want to be and become, and how I want to grow here.
Yet, as I spent time with my parents at home over our last break, I felt, as I feel every time that I spend time away from school, that my sense of independence was shifting once again. The sense of independence I have found at school that allows me to live and work and mess up at my own pace, on my own time was suddenly being renegotiated. “Home” feels different every time I say it.
I call Princeton my home. Princeton is the place where I have grown into my values and interests and passions. Princeton is the place where I have found friends and peers that inspire me and support me. I have grow into communities and values and interests that ground me here, rooting me whenever I waver and pushing me forward whenever I need to borrow courage. My two and a half years at Princeton have been formative, encouraging me at times and forcing me in others to just figure it out.
It’s scary to hold yourself accountable for making decisions that affect your future, but it’s empowering—making your own decisions forces you to make sense of your values and your goals and your passions.
Princeton is outpacing me, graduation still a year away, but still barreling towards me with the horizon of a whole new kind of independence. Just as I feared entering Princeton and learning how to make my own decisions, I fear what it will mean to leave Princeton and learn, once again, how to move forward on my own. These doubts and fears and insecurities don’t disappear, but they do change.