How My First Year of College Taught Me To Believe in 'Fate'
The road to college is not easy for most, and my experience was no exception. Between juggling a full workload my senior year, applying to schools (all of which had lengthy, multiple-essay writing components), playing sports, and trying to have a normal high school experience; it became really easy to get caught up in all of the work. I remember stressing out about all I had to do, only to be met with: “don’t worry you’ll end up where you’re meant to be.” Such phrases were frivolous to me. I believed that hard work was the sole determinant of success (and by success I mean getting into the schools I wanted to go to); so I pushed myself to the end of the year thinking that all of my work would pay off. I was wrong. After getting rejected from the only two schools I could see myself going to, I felt like I had only one other option: NYU. To some, NYU sounds like a dream, but to me, it was the end of the world.
After spending all summer preparing myself mentally and physically (with dorm supplies, books, clothing) for school, I still felt extremely apprehensive on my first day. I truly thought that by the end of the semester I would be applying to transfer. I did not think there was any way I could fit into a group of individuals frequently pegged as narcissistic, fame-obsessed, and dumb. I could not have been more wrong. Over the first few weeks, I made active, mature friendships that will last a lifetime. Some I met through academic programs, but many I befriended through random circumstances. I happened upon clubs and activities that I never imagined I would be a part of, meeting people through them that I never would have met on my own. I was granted access to a vast array of professional educators, and somehow was lucky enough to meet some of the most open and involved professors and TAs; all of whom seemed to take an interest in my path. After my first semester, the idea of transferring schools was replaced by thoughts of research, where I wanted to study abroad, and how I was going to make my time at NYU count --not because I had to, but because I wanted to. By the end of the second semester, I knew I had found the place where I belong. Had it not been for the rejections I received, I may never have set foot in the amazing corner of New York City that I now get to call my home.
Prior to starting my first year of college, I did not believe in ‘fate’ or the ‘world working in mysterious ways’. I firmly held that everything that happens to an individual is a direct response to an action or inaction made by that person. I thought that I did something wrong to not get into my first choice of schools. What I failed to recognize at the time was that sometimes things just happen. Sure, I haven’t given up on agency; many of the decisions I made brought me to this school, my personality helped me to make and maintain friendships, and the academic skills that got me into an amazing school continued to help me achieve in college. As I head into my sophomore year, I can’t help but feel like the world righted itself by pushing me toward NYU. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, maybe agency still reigns, but my first year in college really taught me that I do, in fact, believe in fate.