The feeling of being alone was probably the worst feeling ever as a freshman. I was at a big university trying to fit in and I had no clue where to start.
In high school, I had so many struggles at home; My classmates and friends were the ones who helped me get through them. It was the time I realized that even people who are not related to me by blood can still be called family.
That’s why when I started college, I was worried that I’d have to face everything alone again. I was skeptic about the people I hung out with and I didn’t know what organization would fit me best. I told myself to start somewhere easy. And singing was probably the only thing I had that would make me fit in. At first, it didn’t matter if I had friends or not. When I was on stage, I was in a place where nothing else mattered but the audience and the song.
But it didn’t take long for me to realize that I was just being complacent. Doing just that for almost a year and a half made me feel useless and selfish. I wanted to be significant in people’s lives and see who I am meant to be rather than just accepting who I was back then.
A disagreement with my “friends” also made me lose the confidence I had. It was the middle of the term and whatever I felt when I went into college started to creep in again. It was hard for me to trust people and it was very hard for me to see things on a positive note.
Joining an organization
I started getting more involved with activities other than my studies, and I realized that joining an organization would be a perfect start.
I never really saw myself as a leader and I wanted to really test myself by being in a new environment. So I joined AIESEC, a youth-driven organization that offers leadership training and international internships.
Though there were a lot of challenges, it was the people in the organization who made me see that there are still people whom I can rely on. I met people who struggled with me and went through the same process with me. We pushed each other to go further because we all wanted to see the best in ourselves.
My colleagues would always ask how I was and listen to all my rants and stories. My meetings became my favorite weekly task; They would find a way to make me forget about what I was going through even for just for a couple of hours. They would all find ways to make me see the better things in life rather than focusing on the negative ones.
I took on 3 leadership roles in AIESEC and I never regretted a single one. These roles made me see things from the perspective of other people. I became open to other people’s thoughts and sincere with my actions. The organization showed me how one small act can change a big part of a person’s life.
AIESEC became my friends, my family, and my home. These people accepted me for who I was during a low point in college up to when I took on a role.
I always thought joining an organization was a waste of time. I always told myself I should just concentrate on my studies and just try to get through college without any complications.
But in order for me to grow, I had to go through complications, experience a lot of struggles, and let go of people who hindered me from growing. I got hurt a lot and it almost broke me, but it was the people in the organization who helped me heal myself. While college gives you learnings for your career, an organization gives you life lessons on how to navigate everything else.
Read more inspiring stories on navigating school life and forging one’s career path here.
This submission was sent in by Faith Almeda from AIESEC in the Philippines, with minor edits done by Edukasyon.ph staff. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect that of Edukasyon.ph or its editors.
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