Sunday, August 7, 2011

Accepting Changes

By Soledad Mendoza (Round Lake Beach, IL)

The day I received my acceptance e-mail to the Princeton Summer Journalism Program, I literally started jumping up and down on my bed. It was all I could talk about for weeks.
And then something changed.

My best friend's brother passed away.

I couldn't deal with it. I wouldn't deal with it.

I had been so excited for the entire summer, and then my morale just dropped. I remember thinking that I would hate coming to Princeton. I started focusing on the negative (I have no experience, I'm not that smart, no one will like me). My plane was delayed two hours and I couldn't find the "girl" who was also coming from Chicago. Clearly, my morning had been what I had expected: bad.

But, it turns out this "girl" I had been searching for was actually a very tall boy named Nathaniel. He shared my nervousness, he was friendly, and he helped me with my bags.

Nathaniel was my first SJP friend. Our plane ride began a long chain of events that changed me.

We had some trouble getting to the campus once we arrived in Newark. We accidentally took a train headed to New York, but when we finally arrived at our dorm, we were greeted by cheering from counselors and our fellow SJP students.
I found myself smiling, despite being tired and sad. These people I barely knew were treating me like a member of their family.
I've come to realize that we are a family - a loud, sleep-deprived, bagel-eating family.

This week has been hectic. I've hardly had a free moment and I've woken up earlier than I could have imagined possible. I've loved it.

I didn't think I would learn everyone's name. I did. I didn't think my roommate, Eboni, would like me. She does. I didn't think I could finish writing my two articles for the paper. I finished yesterday.
I didn't think I would be able to cope with my loss. I have. It still hurts, but I'm better. And, everyone here has helped me through it, though they do not know it.

I've made friends here that I hope to keep for a lifetime. I've learned more about journalism, life, friendship than I thought possible. I'm going to miss SJP, but I know it's not the end.

1 comment:

  1. yes, it's true. I do like you. Quite a bit actually :-)