By Yamila García
If I had to compare this semester with the previous one (my first semester at UConn), I would say that it feels as if I lived each semester being a different person. My first semester, like most of my “first experiences” on anything, was not great. I was just glad I passed my classes because I couldn’t expect more than that while trying to adapt to every new thing in this new place for me. Everything was new and so uncomfortable and frustrating. I even feel proud of myself for passing the classes in such discomfort! This semester, the second one here, was quite different. I had less uncertainty and of course, that helped a lot. My grades are better, I know where to go, where to find a quiet place to stop my mind, what food to eat, where to charge my electronic devices, different ways to get to different places, etc. I know that needing a whole semester to adapt seems like a long time, but that is what I needed and that is ok because it doesn’t matter how much time I need, but to get there and feel that things are not strange anymore.
Every time I have to break my routine and start building a new one, it is as if my true self hides and won’t appear until I have a new routine and the discomfort is gone. It happens with new people, new places, even new food! It seems like two different personalities, but it is just me exploring, getting used to things, finding that structure to support me, and when that happens my true self leaves the cave and can go out feeling safer. As I mentioned in previous posts, I am not sure what I am safer from, but I don’t need to know it. I just need to continue adapting to my environment and every change that happens. The semester is almost over and new things are coming again. One would think that after so much time I should get used to facing changes and new things, but it never happened. What does happen is that each stage passed, despite not taking away the discomfort of the next challenge, does give me the certainty that I am going to overcome it too.