When the Dream Started to Become Reality


As a child, there are many people that ask you the gut-wrenching question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I couldn’t count how many times throughout the years that I was personally asked this question but, it was a lot.  Most children dream big about what they would grow up to be and their answers would be full of excitement and they shout out what their big plans are for the future, so eager to grow up. I was excited as a child to grow up to be something big! 

When you are a child you are so innocent that you can be unaware of the wear and tear of the world. Children have no idea what is to come and growing up seems so far away. Then they wake up one day and the days of dreaming about being older are no longer dreams, they are a reality. As the time comes to leave their parents, become their own person, and actually grow up reality hits all at once.

I am one of many that wanted to grow up too fast as a child and now that my dreams are becoming a reality I am terrified. But, moving away from family, friends, and the town I have spent the last 18 years in, it would be expected to have some fears. Things aren’t so bad, growing up that is. There are so many people that are having the same fears that moving into a new chapter brings but I am ready to face them head on and become what I wanted to be as a child; something big!

I knew I wasn’t the only one that wanted to grow up in a hurry. “I was so ready to grow up and be independent. I don’t know why I thought growing up would be so fun, because it kind of sucks,” said McMurry freshman Christen Bazile when asked if as a child she was excited to grow up and leave home.

Alfonso Santoya said, “I feel that worry doesn’t describe the feeling I had when beginning this new chapter. I was freaked out, scared, and super emotional. Leaving my family behind for the first time was pretty difficult for me. I get so attached to people, so I wasn’t ready to let go. I didn’t mentally prepare myself which made it harder.”

Melanie Jimenez shared, “I was worried. I had never spent the night anywhere so being 6 hours away from everyone, it freaked me out!”

Lastly, Baylee Kindrick said, “I was excited and worried at the same time. I was excited to finally be on my own but worried about the future ahead of me.”

Even though these freshman were fearful they found a positive light and there was a point in just 5 weeks that they realized they were no longer fearful of starting this new chapter at McMurry. “I got here and the faculty and staff were so accepting, they were excited and nothing but kind. My swim coach had the biggest welcome and made me feel like family, which meant a lot. My roommate has been so supportive with this new chapter as well, and I have been making the best of friends,” shared Santoya.

Kindrick commented, “When I met lifelong friends, I was no longer fearful.”

“I realized when I found out who my roommate would be, early on. I knew I would know at least one new person to start this life with,” added Bazile.

Jimenez also shared how making friends made a difference. “I met my friends, I realized that I would be okay being away from family and I wouldn’t be so alone.”

Lastly, Santoya said that some feelings still linger. “I have cried and been emotional every now and then because I am homesick and scared but it helps me, knowing that there are other people feeling the same way. We are all here for each other, that’s what brings me the most peace.”

Being a freshman myself and going through all the “firsts” in a new place is challenging but the good thing about it all is that we made a choice to come here to make our dreams become a reality and this is just the beginning. You have all you need, within you.