Campus Life, Lifestyle

The beginning of a new chapter

Going to college has been something I have looked forward to ever since I was in middle school. I always dreamt of running away to a place of my choice and starting my own life, independent from my family. 

Growing up in the naturally beautiful state of California, I had dreams of watching the Santa Barbara sunset and running along the Santa Monica Pier during my college years. However, in my freshman year of high school, this dream of mine changed.

I no longer pictured myself in the same state and decided I wanted a drastic change. I thought to myself — “when else would I be able to explore a different environment?” Besides, I knew that regardless of where I went to school, California would always be my home. Moving away would be worth the risk. 

This is when I came to the realization that I wanted to move to the East Coast since I had only been there once in the eighth grade to visit New York and Washington D.C.. I remember being in New York for the first time — walking by dozens of people and listening to the constant city noise — but I didn’t think this was where I wanted to be. 

moving away from home, new chapter
Book pages folded to make a heart. Enjoying her new chapter in life, Samantha Elizondo writes how her 3,000-mile move from California to Boston University helped her grow as she continues to get to know herself better. COURTESY OF AUNG SOE MIN VIS UNSPLASH

The second city that came to mind was Boston. I had watched a lifestyle blogger who was studying at Boston University , which piqued my interest to sign up for the High School Honors summer program when I was a rising senior. 

Safe to say, those six weeks changed everything for me. After taking the Professional Presentation class with Professor Justin Joseph at the College of Communication, I knew I would return in a year and a half to get my bachelor’s degree in something communications-related.

As I said before, the natural beauty in California is incomparable to anything else. I will always miss the feeling of standing in the Redwood National Park — the beams of sun seemingly enter my soul through my skin and hair. I will always long for the smell of salt wafting in the air and the wind rushing through my curls as I sit in the front seat of my best friend’s Mini Cooper, driving down Highway 17 to Santa Cruz.

However, as beautiful as home may be, moving away is something that made me a better person.

I’m now in the second semester of my sophomore year here at BU, and although I’ve only experienced college through the lens of this pandemic, my experience here has been nothing short of rewarding. Every semester somehow gets better, and I truly wouldn’t change a single thing. 

That being said, living alone is hard. Personally, the hardest part of college is not the academics, but rather finding balance. I am no longer solely responsible for getting good grades and being a good sister and daughter. I’ve left my comforting nest at home that I took for granted and I’m learning to grow. It’s difficult, but necessary for the soul. 

In between my 20 credits, two BUTV10 shows and commitments at The Daily Free Press, I also have to find time to exercise, stay in contact with friends and family, keep a clean living space, make sure my fridge is stocked  — the list goes on. Balancing all of this has not been easy, but it’s something I prioritize so I can feel completely satisfied. 

Managing my time is something that I am still getting the hang of. Moving out has really made me question what’s important to me because with all of this new freedom comes loads of  responsibility. You only want to invest your time and energy in places that you deem important. 

I believe space is necessary to grow and evolve, so having a solid 3,000-mile separation from my family and old routines has greatly helped me in that regard. It really encouraged me to think about what I want for myself without my parents influencing me. 

Moving out has improved my relationship with myself by giving me independence and freedom. After all, my reality is in my hands, and I can’t think of anyone better to shape my present and more importantly, my future, than me.

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