“Home is where the heart is”

JoyceLiangOne night during spring break, I was sitting in my room planning out the classes I want to take for fall quarter in college. In the midst of reading course descriptions, I couldn’t help but suddenly feel anxiety. Sure, it was late at night and it seems like it’s during those times I can either be deep in thought or philosophical. But just thinking about the last four years of high school and college sparked mixed feelings about my new change.

Before I applied for colleges, all I wanted to do was apply for ones that were far away from home. I knew I wanted distance so I could gain that sense of independence and freedom. Most importantly, I didn’t want to be so sheltered anymore and I wanted to make decisions on my own.

Little did I know the expensive costs of out-of-state tuition. Immediately, when I did more research, I knew I couldn’t afford any of it, so I was left with in-state schools.

Months had passed and I received all my college decisions. Receiving the letters from each college was exciting and nerve-racking. I know I’m not the only one when I say that  I remember being nervous and had trouble sleeping for weeks when certain decisions were released online. The whole process was exhilarating. Tears were shed, hugs were passed along, and the happiness and joy you feel once you get into one of your top colleges is impossible to replicate.

After receiving all of my college letters, I sent my statement of intent, and finally, reality hit me.

I’m actually going to go to college…away from home. What?

For the first time, the idea of college wasn’t all fun and games anymore. I’m no longer going to see my friends and family every day. I can’t devour my mom’s daily home cooked Chinese cuisines. I’m going to have to do my own laundry. Everything is on me now.

The confidence and excitement I had had suddenly faded, and I began to doubt my decision. Part of me wanted to immediately change my mind and go somewhere close to home. I started to feel regretful for not trying harder in school these past four years. I felt nostalgic and I didn’t know where I wanted to be.

The idea of change is scary to some people, like myself. However, how are we supposed to succeed if we are just comfortable all the time? We grow and learn the most as individuals placed in unfamiliar territory. We need to discover new things, be open-minded, and put ourselves out there in the real world.

Even though there’s a part of me that still wants to stay close, I’m no longer in doubt of my decision. I’m excited to embark on and take advantage of the endless opportunities and experiences in these next four years of my life.

Even though UC San Diego will be my new home, I know the Bay Area will always be my true home. Afterall, home is where the heart is.

Evan Kwong

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