My name is Emma Wilson and here is a little bit of my story. I am currently ending my freshman year at the University of Alabama. Freshman year of college is a whirlwind. For some background, I have lived in the same small Alabama community my entire life. This was my first time living apart from my family, and really my first time meeting new people. Most of my high school graduating class had been together since kindergarten. Now I was entering a massive school with approximately 36,999 strangers. I had the constant worry that people were only talking to me because I was talking to them, and that the moment I left they would talk about how annoying I was. I tried to display myself as the exuberant girl I had built myself to be at Daphne High School, but everything was different here. I had no identity. I can’t tell you when, but something inside me changed. I just woke up one day, realized that I don’t need to impress anyone, and I truly embraced being myself and making myself happy before anyone else.
That is not to say everything has been smooth sailing. A couple of months into college I was desperate for the attention of any boy. (Silly me.) I ended up getting involved with a boy who did not appreciate the absolute gem he had. (Me!) I hit a low. I was getting all my confidence from this boy that did not care about me at all. He ended up getting a girlfriend and never texting me back. That sucked quite a bit. Looking back, what an absolute blessing it was! After that experience I took more pride in myself, guarded my heart, and stopped looking to boys for validation.
Today, days away from my last class as a freshman, I am confident, passionate, and most importantly, so genuinely happy. I have found a group of friends that appreciate the anomaly that is Emma. I picked up poetry, writing over 100 haikus in my first semester. I’ve read some great literature and had some thought-provoking conversation that has really impacted my values. I am even learning to play piano! I am still getting to know who exactly this Emma Wilson character is, but what I do know is that I am absolutely in love with her, and I am not ashamed in the least bit.