Chapter 10 – A World Alone

BRENT MANDERS

FRESHMAN WRITING

PERSONAL ESSAY FINAL

PROMPT: MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE FIRST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE…

 

With some things in life, it takes a long time to get what we deserve, but once we get it, we understand why it took so long. That’s how I feel about my first semester of college. I’ve met the friends I always dreamed I’d have some day and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve met each of them. Whether it be the best friends who understand now how important it is to get the support that they need right when they need it, the guy who isn’t afraid to test the limits of both himself and others, including the girl who needed him to test her limits, or the girl who helped bring out the truth in her best friend, in return making him finally accept himself along with the boy who loves him; regardless of who, they all made my first semester of college an unforgettable learning experience.

 

The best friends who understand now how important it is to get the support that they need right when they need it had to go through the worst places in life to get understand how important that support is. One of the two best friends being my good friend Annalise, who saved her life-long best friend Cassidy after she was raped. Cassidy is completely open about what happened now, and she granted me the permission to use her story in this essay. Without the help of Annalise and the rest of her friends, Cassidy says she would not be where she is today in terms of accepting herself. This confidence is now helping another girl, a new friend of mine, who’s name I cannot say, understand that her rape isn’t her fault. She wishes to remain anonymous for now, but she recognizes she’s making progress. These three strong women have taught me how to recover and thrive after life’s most traumatic experiences.

Next up on the list, the guy who isn’t afraid to test the limits of both himself and others, and the girl who needed him to test her limits, have shown me how easily strangers can help one another. The guy, my good friend Reed, a fellow student, opened me up to college life the first week I started school here. If it weren’t for him, I don’t know if I would be talking to any of the friends mentioned in this essay. He’s pushed me to test my social boundaries, and I’ll be forever grateful for that. That same pressure Reed created for me has also affected another one of my friends, Nova, the girl who needed her limits tested. Before Bellview, Nova was not happy. Born into a wealthy family, Nova was confused as to why, despite her financial stability, she was so upset. That confusion ended once she met Reed and the rest of our friends. Before college, she was sad and depressed because she had no real connection with anyone. However, once the school year began, everything in her life changed for the better. Combined, the two have taught me how helping strangers can lead to a plethora of positivity.

Lastly, the girl who helped bring the truth out of her best friend and the boy who, in return, finally accepted himself along the boy who loves him, possibly have had the greatest impact on me for several reasons. These two individuals, Joslyn and Wes, have taught me never to give up on what one knows is true, even if you don’t want to believe it. Because if one ignores an important aspect of life, life will forever be suffering. Wes’s story, which I also asked for permission to use in this essay, includes his struggle to accept his attraction towards men, despite his homophobic upbringing. Thanks to Joslyn, his brother Danny, and the rest of our friends, however, we have taught him to see the beauty in self-acceptance. I can now say that we’re in a happy relationship that I can see lasting a long time. The boy who’s love he finally accepted is mine, and I’m so glad he did. He’s taught me to never give up on both what you love and who you love.

When some people say we’re dancing in this world alone, I don’t disagree with them. However, I know there is more to life than that. I’ve learned through my first semester of college that despite our temporary solitude, as all of my friends have experienced, we can share friendship in a way so that we’ll no longer be dancing in this world alone, but rather in a world full of solo dancers, all loving each other. We’ll be able to teach each other things, from how to recover and thrive after life’s most traumatic experiences, to how treating strangers a certain way can lead to a plethora of positivity, and even the most valuable lesson of all, to never give up both on what you love and who love. My first semester of college had taught me a lot and given me lifelong friends, and because of that, I couldn’t be happier.

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