QuestBridge Monthly Theme: Support Systems

I just wrapped up my first complete week of school and it’s been everything I expected it to be and more. This hectic week was about getting back into the swing of things – of remembering how to be a college student and everything that comes with it.

When I’m at Columbia, I’m not just Alejandra. I’m a friend, a best friend, a leader, a mentor, a mentee, an advisor, an employee, a student, an explorer, a discoverer. The list is endless, and sometimes it is very easy to get overwhelmed by how many things are going on around you. And that’s okay – and it’s also okay to ask for help.

When I need help, I ask. But like the title of my blog says, “Remember where it all started.” My support system isn’t necessarily all on campus but it’s very important to find one that’s nearby. I have great friends who will encourage me to leave my room and go exploring (like today, because who knew you could kayak on the Hudson River?). I have best friends who will send sour gummy worms when I need them the most. I have a great advisor who does not hesitate to tell me of all the great things I can do no matter how much they intimidate me.

These people are important. And it’s vital to realize how much so early on. My freshmen year was terrifying, but I had people all around me – I just had to reach out.

And when that failed, because nothing and no one is perfect, I could always count on my parents. Even though sometimes it’s hard to explain just how complicated things can get here at Columbia, my parents keep me grounded because they’ve believed in me always – even when I didn’t believe in myself.

And anyone who believes in you unconditionally, whether it’s your mom, your high school journalism teacher or your best friend, is someone you should keep around.

I think sometimes it’s very easy get caught up in things and forget that there’s a world outside of where you are. But, there are people out there too. And sometimes all it takes is a text message to reach them.

 

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