The first day at UIC felt like being in a theme park for the first time. You're excited and overwhelmed by this and this, you want to try all these crazy rides, you're taking tons of pictures. You walk around and stare with a sparkle in your eyes. But you're also worried, and scared. Aren't these rides too thrilling? You wish someone was holding your hand during the ride. You wish your mom was there to help you unpack.
The first week at UIC felt like waiting in a line for the most thrilling ride in the entire park. You observe people standing in the line with you, the ones walking around, and the other attractions offered on the other side of the park. You meet your roommates, professors, potential friends. You have introduction classes, you find out how everything works, and how much is the cotton candy sold in front of the merry-go-round. You can still decide to step back, escape from the queue, and go on a familiar ride. There's still space to go back to your comfort zone, stick to your old friends on Skype, and give up the possible adventure.
In her case, curiosity won. She jumped into the roller coaster train, and the most exciting ride of her life was about to begin.
It's been ups and downs, parts when the train goes slow, and sections where the speed makes you scream. It's been holidays and midterms, fun classes, and hours of studying boring material. It's been school events, dinners with new friends, and multiple midnight chicken treats. Sometimes you feel like the ride will never end and you will never go to bed early ever again. And sometimes it feels like being upside down when you mess up on your exam.
But in the end, the most important thing is to make the final step out of your comfort zone, get on the adventure ride, and enjoy the journey. With the passengers sitting next to you.