College is the rising action of one’s life movie. Not quite at that jaw-dropping, heart-suspending climax…yet. These four years build up to that grand a-ha moment (or lack thereof), which can turn into a climax of its own. Everyone sits eagerly on the edge of their seat. Everyone. Not even the lead actress truly knows how the story will unfold.
She sits with the rest, biting her perfectly manicured nails at the premiere.
You see? My exposition screamed excellence. Okay, I am no movie critic, but my beginnings proved promising for some electrified rising action, if I do say myself. Every school boasts those over accomplishing students that people either find inspiring or aggravating. Those students that become officers of multiple clubs. Those students that academics and administrators absolutely adore. Those students that not only ace all of their classes, but also maintain a social life. At this point, I stick my hand out and introduce myself, telling you that I oftentimes fell into the aggravating portion of lovely little outperformers.
As a child, my eyes glistened from the sheer thought of taking on the college scene. Funny thing about long imaginings: you have plenty of time to create this spectacular future. Or a miserable one. I decided on the former. In my mind, the rider in me felt ready to grab the bull by the horns and barrel it home. To me, high school honed my bull riding abilities, so how hard could it possibly be to become a matador?
Boy was I in for a rude awakening.
My first few days as a freshman, I felt slightly nerve-wracked from being completely out of my element. Words no longer easily spewed out, and I became hyper aware of my body. Just on the opposite side of summer, I marched into where I wanted and spoke without second thoughts. Now? Oh no, no, no. Those days had forsaken me. As time crept onward, this antisocial hermit locked into the shell that soon surrounded me. Remember that girl from the exposition? Time to stick my hand out and reintroduce myself as the student that enters class with earbuds in and does not remove them until the professor starts the lecture—the student that only speaks when spoken to.
Hold onto your seat; it gets better.
The sheer idea of trying to make a first move set my insides ablaze. Anxiety rippled through my veins quicker than my blood. Friends? What friends? Oh, right my television and bed. My best of pals. Clubs? I’m sure watching Netflix with the curtains drawn counts as an activity. My life became a continual loop: school, home, work, home, school, work. I churned in a monotonous chore of laundry: wash, rinse, repeat. My drive to go to events crippled into nonexistence. While my high school friends and roommates engaged in extracurriculars and events, I remained in my shack. Within the walls, I cloaked myself in excuses of having financial worries and not finding my place. It made some nice decor.
Staying locked in a gloomy, pathetic rut blew.
The most frustrating part proved watching everyone else shine, thrive and explore. Not because I envied them, but rather because I knew that I possessed that very vigor as well. I just had no idea where it went. Till this day, I still do not know when the hermit and conqueror made the big switcheroo. All I know is that struggling at the start happens more than you’d think. There are those stories of emblazoning suns and the ones about fading stars. But you can be both. No need to fade entirely into the light. It’s never too late to glimmer into beaming existence.
Now I want to stick my hand out once more and introduce myself a final time.
Hi, my name is Alexa.
I left my shack and am venturing out of the woods. My rising action is still in the forms. I have no clue how to surmount this new world of mine and am still finding my way. But now my hands are in my lap, and I am sitting back. One does not need to immediately conquer to succeed—just let the movie play. And no spoilers!