I’m already home

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COURTESY PHOTO

Sawyer Hamm, Reporter

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Four years ago, in May of 2013, I was finishing up my time at Dr. Augustine Ramirez Intermediate School in Eastvale, California. As far as I knew then, my freshman year would start that August at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, which was close enough to my house that I would bike to school everyday (even in the brutal 60 degree winters), and I would probably be trying out for volleyball and taking freshman level Mandarin.End goal, I would graduate and go to my dream school: The University of Southern California.

Fast forward to the present and I am graduating from Grand Haven High School and going to the University of Michigan. There is no men’s volleyball here. I also never took Mandarin, never biked to school (especially not in the winter) and continued to stray far from my old life plan.

Looking back, I am happy with where my life has taken me. Since I moved to Grand Haven  then I have done so much I never could have forseen in my eighth grade visions.  

I was pretty set on my life plan as it stood, and moving seemed to ruin it. For a while even after moving, I held on to some semblance of hope that my old plan could somehow hold out. As I got into my sophomore year, I stopped being quite as stubborn and opened up a bit. I realized that my old friends and life were gone, and it was long past time to move on.

I joined new sports and made new friends, and suddenly I didn’t miss California as much. But when you set goals and have a dream as strong as I did, it can be very hard to let go. Up until the fall of my senior year I was still dead set on going to USC. I still applied to the University of Michigan, visited a few times, and grew to like it, but it wasn’t my top choice.

Then one fateful day in March I got my USC decision: rejection.

It was crushing. My life plan was destroyed, I thought, all thanks to some heartless admissions counselor in an office in the school I was meant to go to. After the shock and pain died down though, it became a very pivotal moment for me. I realized that up to that point, I had still been holding on to hope that I could live a life that was no longer mine.

In the days before I moved, I marked the USC start date for fall of 2017, labeling it “Go Home.” Now, I’ve marked it complete. I’m already home.  

Reflecting on the four years since I moved, I have grown in ways I never imagined before, and enjoyed every second of it. Home may not be the same as it once was for me, but my life has taken me new directions that I can only be grateful for. I captained my water polo and swim teams, two sports I never expected to play; I will be going to Michigan, one of the best schools in our country, if not the world; I have many of my best friends here and have made memories with them that will last a lifetime. When I say it to myself now, it all sounds pretty good.  

To anyone else with plans for their future: good for you, strive for your goals and keep them high. But don’t let it hurt you if they fall apart. Life will take you places you never expected to go, and whether you learn it sooner or later it’s a blessing. Don’t dwell on the things you missed out on, just look for the ways you’ve grown.

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