I remember feeling very lonely and confused during my high school graduation back in May 2013. I wondered if my peers felt scared the same way I was. I was about to begin a new chapter in my life called “college.”
I had a lot of questions about college. What should I major in? Should I go to America or Paris? Should I take a year off?
Now, I have all the answers. But back in Vietnam, I had no clue, no support and no direction.
Looking at my friends, they made it seem that college was a fun time. A chance to get out of Vietnam, study hard, party hard and go shopping. And so I thought that was going to be my experience as well. I felt entitled to this “fun” college experience.
Deep down inside, I knew that this wasn’t me, but I went along with them. The movies I watched did not make me feel better but further reinforced what college was supposed to be: socializing, drinking, staying up late to study, and living like there is no tomorrow.
Watching these movies and hearing my friends talk about college made me feel like something was wrong with me. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to have fun? Isn’t this the time when you are finally free from your parents and can do whatever you want?
I did not want to party hard. It just wasn’t me. I do not enjoy the taste of alcohol and would prefer a chocolate smoothie any day 🙂
I also tried to ask my parents for some college advice, but they could not help me. They did not attend college themselves. So I was the first out of my family to receive higher education. Just thinking about that makes me feel so proud and excited that I was the first. At the same time, I wish I had someone to turn to for all my questions, doubts and worries. When I think about all the questions I had and how terrified I felt, I want to give my 18-year-old self the biggest hug.