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  • Grace Stevens

Growth

I've wanted to write a personal post for a while now, and since we're approaching the end of the semester, I thought this would be a good time to do it. For a little background about me, hi, I'm Grace. I'm a third-year English major who transferred to UIC this semester.


I transferred to UIC from a small Christian school in the suburbs. My whole life, I've been at different Catholic and Christian schools. UIC is my first public school. I have some pretty bad anxiety, so the reason I stayed at private schools for so long was because of the sense of familiarity. I found comfort in the small class sizes and sticking with what I knew. I'm not a big fan of change. But as I get older, I've learned the importance of growth. The "Christian bubble" is real. I didn't do anything outside my comfort zone or what I knew for a long time.


I decided to transfer to a big public school, particularly because it's a new experience, something I knew I wouldn't like at first and never thought I'd be able to do. I think it's because I've spent much of my life hidden away that I now want to make myself uncomfortable with unfamiliar new settings. I think it's better in the long run. I'll have more to reflect on and reminisce about rather than regret what I didn't do.


Learning is so important to me. While familiarity was convenient, it would sometimes lead to life feeling stale or even me feeling ignorant. I didn't have much exposure to things like diversity or different perspectives, being sheltered in my "bubble." I try to make up for it now. I want to learn everything about everyone and their different backgrounds and ways of life. That's part of why I love being at UIC. I'd rather know the truth about what's going on in our world, even if it isn't always pretty. It feels like I've spent my life under a rock, and now I'm coming out of hiding. Sometimes it's overwhelming, but it's worth it.


I don't think it's good to live under a rock. I don't want to discredit my past, but I don't think it was as fulfilling as it could have been. Having anxiety made/makes things difficult, but I don't want to have a ton of regrets thinking about what I could have done. I'd rather do it. Learn about people's joys. Sorrows. Histories other than the ones I was taught in school. I want to travel to different countries. I want to make friends who will be here for years to come. Find love. Get hurt. Find love again. I think I'm just listing the human experience now, but you get my drift.


I have much to learn, but I find it all amazing.

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