But then I went to England, and honestly it was one of the best things I've ever done. I found my confidence and my personality, my original personality, over there across the pond. Free from the scrutiny and judgement of those who've known me for years, I let myself experiment with this girl of my dreams. And she turned out to be a really fun person to be. So I came back to the states and tried my best to continue living my dream. To keep that fire of confidence and self-appreciation burning. And you know what? It's kind of hard sometimes. College really is as hard as they say it is. There really are thousands of people on this campus, so making friends feels overwhelming. I still have no idea where I am when I try to go to class. I have no idea how on earth I'll get all my homework done. I miss my family. And sometimes I forget to be myself.
But when I remember to stay true to me, things work out. I start to realize what absolutely fabulous friends I have. I've realized that they don't have to be people my age or even in my town. They can be my crossfit peeps and my favorite teacher and my mother and darling blogger friends I've never met before but email often. They could be my cousins and my kindergarten best friend and my lookalike best friend/twin and friends I didn't make until senior year. Getting wet and sunburned and sore and dirty are the results of some of the most fabulous adventures, preserved solely through the imprints of our memories. I'm realizing that there is so. much. more waiting beyond the halls of high school, that there is so much more life to be lived and adventures to be had and sleep to be lost after graduation. And that while those four years felt like hiking up one of the steepest mountains I've ever encountered, full of it's fair share of blood, sweat, and tears, and when I got to the top, I see more mountains to climb just ahead, the view from the top of this mountain? It's the best in the world.