Intro: Throughout life, we’ve all had to make decisions that we sometimes have no idea if it is the right one or not at the moment. The value in living a vulnerable life is that when you get over the fear and choose the risk of being vulnerable, life just might surprise you. That is how I made one of the best decisions of my life in 2013.
The question: I have always been a very indecisive person. Upon my senior year in high school, I still had no idea where I wanted to go for college. More than two third of my high school have made their decisions to attend the University of Texas at Austin or the Texas A&M University. I visited a few colleges in Boston where my sister lived, but they didn’t stand out to me. There was no immediate connection with the people and the city.
I began applying for a bunch of random out-of-state colleges. In 2013, Colorado was one of the hot topics due to the newly passed marijuana legalization law. Almost as a joke, it made my list. I applied for CU Boulder and soon forgot about it.
The choices: One day in class months later, I received an acceptance letter from CU Boulder. At this time, I knew nothing about Colorado other than its newly passed marijuana law. I didn’t know anyone there nor anyone that’s going there. I had never even visited the place!
I quickly pulled out my laptop and searched for the University of Colorado Boulder on YouTube. The scenery and its atmosphere immediately caught my eyes and I was in love. Before I was 12, I lived in a small town in China that is surrounded by the mountains. The mountains seemed to be calling my name again.
The obstacles: My mother thought that attending an out of state university was completely unnecessary. She announced to me that she will not pay for any of my tuition if I choose to attend University of Colorado Boulder. Her announcement made me angry. How can she present me with these options knowing that an 18 year old would not be able to afford the $50,000 a year out-of-state tuition?
The cold choices are presented in front of me. Should I go to Austin with the comfort of knowing that many of my friends will be there and my financial needs will be taken of, or should I take the risk and explore a place that I had no idea about completely on my own? If I had chosen moving to Colorado, it means that I will be placing myself in a vulnerable position with all that is unknown. I began trying to convince myself: Austin is a great city too, your friends are all going to be there, your college experience will probably be the same…
The decision: Fate had something else planned for me. After weeks of consideration, I made the later choice. In the summer of 2013, I packed 3 suitcases and went on my way in one of the most vulnerable states I’ve ever been in.
Since my parents cut me off, I had to work relentlessly in order to pay for school and the living cost. The past three years haven’t always been a smooth sail. Along with the fun and excitements, there were times that hardships have made me question if I had made the right decision. But here I am, three years later, I can without a doubt tell anyone that moving to Colorado to attend CU is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
By exposing myself in a vulnerable state to a new place, people, ideas and challenges, my personal growth was immense. I gained more than I could ever dream of. I learned many sides of myself that even I wasn’t aware of. Today, only one question remains on my mind, what else am I capable of? The possibilities of the answer seem limitless.