Fighting Skepticism (and self-doubt)

The deal is pretty much done; I sent my housing application in awhile back, my fasfa and other forms of financial aid are being processed, and I paid my official acceptance fee just recently. Now I’m just waiting to find out when my orientation date is and I’ll get my housing/roommate assignments during the summer. For the most part it’s all systems go

I know that a lot of friends and family have been skeptical about my decision ever since I began looking at colleges. In the beginning I did focus on the smaller schools because I thought it would be easier when it comes to getting around and what not. But as time went on, I couldn’t see myself truly enjoying being a student there, and they didn’t have all that much to show in regards to my major. 

And when I was looking into the University that I’ll be attending this coming fall, I myself was a bit weary of it. People kept telling me how big it was, that would be a ton of walking, and that I would be just a number. For awhile I put it out of my mind because of what other people were saying. Yet after visiting that particular campus last October…I just knew. My Mom even pointed out how my entire face lit up as we were touring the buildings and different parts of the school. 

Contrary to the usual assumptions, I’m not doing this because it’s my mother’s alma matter (she actually wasn’t for it until we visited and I explained my personal reasons afterward) or because I know about four or five people that already go there. This was my decision and mine alone, and I have no qualms about it. I’m going there because it feels right to me; I’m going to get so many more opportunities that I didn’t get while in a private Catholic high school, and it has an exceptional English and creative writing program. Ultimately, I need to learn how to live my own life and do my own thing. 

I know that I shouldn’t have to prove anything to anyone, and that I shouldn’t give a crap about their own inputs. However, I can’t deny that it hurt  when I told various friends and family members as to where I’m headed. A good portion are elated and proud of me, but some have expressed their doubts and concerns. In a way, I understand it because I know they’re worried and they want me to succeed. Yet it’s frustrating when I tell people and they’re like “you’re going there? Are you sure?” It’s as if being mildly handicapped and going to a Big Ten University are like trying to fit a square into a circle. My own brother repeatedly tells me that he believes I’m not going to survive there. 

I guess that’s one of the major set-backs of living with any type of handicap; no matter what, there are always going to be these assumptions about what you can and can’t do. That just because it may be a bit more difficult, that you should lower your standards and just settle for whatever is easiest, even though it’s not what you want. Truthfully, that’s the kind of stigma that I absolutely detest. 

But just because the mountain may tall and the road may be long, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t reach for the stars.

I really can’t say what will come of any of it right now, being that I haven’t even graduated from high school yet. I realize that I’m not going to (and I can’t) know everything when I leave in August. But I think that it’s part of college; doing things you’ve never done before and experiencing all kinds of things, both good and bad. Right now, I’m just tackling things one at a time, and I have faith that no matter what happens, I’m going to be fine.

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