May 25, 2019-The war was over. Four years later and the blood, sweat, and tears of a little-black sheep made it to the finish line. In case you were wondering, the black sheep is me, or was me. And the war I’m talking about? That would be high school. In high school, I had such a hard time fitting in. Looking back now, it just feels painful to even think about “past-me” struggling to find a place to call “home.”
Fast forward to the Fall of 2019, I was a Freshman at The University of Texas at Arlington. I thought I was so cool because I was an art major who carried around a drawing board the size of my dog as I walked a mile to class. Well, that got old pretty fast. I won’t say that the mile long walk with the obnoxious drawing board was the reason I changed my major, but it definitely contributed to the decision. Art was not my life. A hobby, but not my life. Public Relations made the most sense to me because it was a career that I could be creative in, but not have to draw portraits like my life depended on it. UTA felt like a breath of fresh air. It was a welcoming place, a judgement-free zone. I didn’t even want to talk about my high school, let alone think about it anymore. I was where I was supposed to be. I felt pretty proud about my decision to switch majors, but then, I guess the world thought differently. That’s when COVID-19 came to life and shut down the world. It also shut down the new start that I thought I was going to have.
I felt defeated and confused about what I’m actually going to do with my life. It’s almost like that first semester during the pandemic, I felt like I was in high school all over again. I felt confined, isolated, and out-of-place. School felt like I was just going through the motions. Nothing new. Nothing exciting. Just working towards a degree that I am now doubting why I even chose it in the first place. The pandemic felt like a huge setback as a student, future career-woman, and as an individual.
Then, the long-awaited day to somewhat-normalcy finally arrived in Fall of 2021. I was finally back on campus at UTA! I didn’t care if I had to social distance or wear a mask. I was so relieved to be around people again. I was surrounded by my people. People that were struggling, succeeding, and failing just like I was and still do. It was still overwhelming at the same time. I felt like I had so much making up to do and so much time that I had lost. That semester was almost like a “re-birth” for me. It went by so fast. From the little things to the big things. I found my style. I found my love for graphic design. I found my love for people. I found my love for PR and Advertising. If you didn’t catch that, Advertising just kind of found its own way in there that semester, and the rest is history. Eight months until graduation now, and I couldn’t be happier. I didn’t know what to expect from college. I just imagined that anything would be better than high school, which it was, for the most part. Even though COVID involved a lot of low-lows for me, it also gave me the clarity to be able to appreciate the amazing highs I’ve had since then. I’m truly loving what I’m learning, and I’ve made some genuine relationships along the way. Also have a pretty awesome job now…but we’ll get to that at a later date. And as they always say, “Once a Maverick, always a Maverick.”