As I was getting ready for college, I was pretty nervous about leaving my little sisters. Not my parents. (I really needed to be independent and I could use less of the being told what to do and when to do it). It seemed weird but it was my little sisters who made me think twice about staying in MA or leaving. I was afraid of leaving home but more importantly I was afraid to leave them and my role as a big sister. Oddly enough, I knew I didn’t want to live at home but I wanted to be close. And, I knew that in the application process. I applied to schools in the east. But once, I was admitted to some colleges, I didn’t like how Google Maps easily could draw me 330 miles away from my sisters.
When I had to make a decision, I started wishing Swarthmore, like companies, could relocate (pack every book, shelf, recycle bin and move to MA). Throughout high school especially during my senior year, I was always with my little sisters. They were attached at my hip. Whether it was grocery shopping, going to the library, or going to basketball practices my sisters were always THERE and my responsibilities. I enjoyed their company, my role as a caretaker, and I enjoyed the fact that I was needed. I think it was important for me to realize why was I so afraid to leave. Would I miss having to wake my sisters up, walk them to the bus stop, plan dinner? (Not really.) But I would miss that I wouldn’t be able to affect someone lives daily and I would miss out on seeing someone grow, learn and accept new things. So, I was afraid to leave because I wasn’t sure I’d get the chance to impact others. It sounds silly as I write this down. I mean regardless of what we do we are always influencing others. But I think there’s a difference between influencing and impacting. The latter is more tangible. In general, I was afraid about my role at school.
Ideally we go to school to learn, gain skills, and be apart of some larger vision to change the world. I loved the idea of all of that but I wasn’t sure how to accomplish it. Sure going to school and gaining skills are trivial, but changing the world meant first being needed. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be needed. I was intimated. I kept thinking, “There are so many intelligent people, are you sure you want me, are you sure you need me, what do you need me to do”?
Then one day, I stopped asking these questions. I stopped being afraid about being away from my sisters and the over question on what will I be remembered for. How? I became passionate (again). It was never about whether I was needed it was more on what was I passionate about. I was passionate about my little sisters, I wanted to bring them to the museum, zoo, etc things I never got to chance to do. I wanted them to start thinking critically and become interested in new things. I realized that I didn’t need to be needed, instead I needed to get a passion. Something that bother me. Something that I could handle. Something that made me excited so much that it’d wash my fears. I think if you have any fears about college finding a passion will put you at ease.