When I pulled my fingers away from the car door
handle, my palm felt sticky from the ridiculous humidity. I was already feeling lightheaded and my stomach growled unapologetically. My parents loaded two suitcases into the back of the Über driver's car and within minutes, we pulled away from the front of the Washington, D.C hotel I'd slept oh-so comfortably in just twelve hours before.
Soon, the sights of the city blended into thick patches of greenery. Cloud kissing buildings became smaller, cozier looking houses and the worn down asphalt of downtown bled into paved streets. We were entering a semi-suburban region. We were on the way to my university and new home for the next four years - for the first time.
When I found out I was accepted to my University in the spring, my heart raced so fast I could feel its vibrations trembling through my whole body. On the condition that I attend a summer program for seven weeks to earn three credits and take a pre-college writing seminar, I was in! All my hard work had paid off and as my reward, I was fortunate enough to move 2,800 miles across the country to Washington, D.C from San Diego, California.
I accepted my admission before I visited the campus. Many tell me that this was a brave move on my part and that if they'd been in my shoes, they would have visited the campus sometime before their first semester. I didn't roll that way.
Something in the bottom of my stomach told me that I had made the right decision, that American University was the best institution for me to pursue my higher education. Each day that I'm here on campus, I discover more things about my school, its values, and what it has to offer. The city welcomes me with open arms and while the weather is finicky, I feel at home.
I have never lived away from home, from my parents, nor have I ever been confronted with the reality that few things in life come easily. I am learning to prepare (or at least scout for) my own meals, manage my time, and interact with people very, very different from folks back home. I have only been in D.C for about three and a half weeks, but I can already see so many new doors opening for me.
2,800 miles is a long distance to be measuring, but the extent to which I will grow while I am here is certainly greater.