Photo courtesy of lifehack.org
Photo courtesy of lifehack.org
Photo courtesy of lifehack.org

By AISHA NADEEM, Staff Columnist

Aisha Nadeem is a staff columnist for the Michigan Journal. Aisha’s views do not necessarily reflect those of the Journal.

Hi, my name is Aisha Nadeem. Most of you know me as one of the staff writers for the Michigan Journal, but today I want to share my story as a student. I’m a senior here at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and this is the third university I’ve attended in the past five years. Starting college, I had my life planned out and prepared myself for all the things that we are all “supposed” to go through. I waited for the parties, for the laid-back schedule, for organizations and meeting new friends. But the thing about life is, you’re never fully prepared for it.

I moved across the world and back, and did not return to Oakland University as I thought I would, and I found myself here. If changing my daily routine wasn’t hard enough, I had to change my dreams and goals, too. I had to leave so much behind and found it difficult to look forward for a long time. I felt frustrated and didn’t like the idea of starting over on a new page. Well actually, it felt like a new book entirely. I found myself detached from friends, not staying committed to school organizations or barely attending them, just keeping up my GPA and not feeling the school spirit. I had adopted a mindset that said, “It’s only a matter of time until things change and I’ll start over anyway.” The funny thing is, I was wrong. It wasn’t a matter of time; change is constant. But look where I am today — I’ve been at this university for two-and-a-half years now, and I won’t lie and say I’ve found the answer.

The truth is, I’ve settled here in Michigan and this university, but my heart hasn’t settled – and I hope it never does. What I want you all to take from my story is that not knowing where you are doesn’t make you directionless. It means right now is the time of possibilities, of changes that can build you up better than ever and changes that close the difficult chapters. I’ve heard of many people being just as scared or anxious as I was about where they are heading in school, and in life. So I would like to say: just do your best and take life day by day. Just watch how far you’ll go. Change doesn’t have to be so scary; if anything, change is the adventurous part of our lives. Adjusting is difficult, saying goodbye is difficult, learning all over again is difficult. But staying set in one place isn’t what we are made to do. Change means growth, and it means one step closer to the great things we are meant to do and become.

So my advice as a student and as a person is to welcome change with open arms and open heart. We all have our personal wars and stories, and we all have our victories. If you allow yourself to feel the fear and anxiety of change, also allow your heart to feel hope. After all, we are here at this school to make the Dearborn Difference!