Staring at the busy hustle and bustle of the university grounds Fatima came face to face with her worst enemy, new beginnings. She had given herself the pep talks and sought advice from friends, family and popular blogs, but deep inside she knew she would only feel settled once she had faced her insecurities. The busy school year had helped her push her misgivings about university aside until after her grade 12 graduation, but that was as far as she could delay it. The summer began and so did her obsessive nature to know everything about her new education institution. She fought anxiety with knowledge but that still couldn’t stop her mind from running off about all the things that might go wrong. She arrived early and quietly observed the university as it came to life. Prepared with curriculum and campus map in hand she took a deep breath and slowly released it, “here goes,” she sighed entering her first class.
A jolt of panic came over her as she laid eyes the classroom, “Front, middle or back?” she asked herself in a panic; how could she not have thought of her seating ahead of time? She settled on the middle row, close enough to the professor, but not too close. Trying to eloquently make her way through the aisle she sat next to what looked to be good friends chatting away. Jealousy flooded though her as she wished she had one familiar face here by her side. Alas, going away to university meant that it was a completely fresh start – something that she kept reminding herself was a good thing.
The class slowly fell silent as Fatima realized the professor had entered the hall. After what seemed like the quickest introduction, the professor began his lecture. It seemed odd to begin a class this way, but what did she know? She strained to keep all her attention on the lecture but felt like she was listening to a foreign language. “Well this is a fine start to the year,” she mumbled to herself.
“This isn’t overwhelming at all,” declared a high pitch voice next to her. She peered over to see a girl around the same age as her had settled in the seat right next to hers. “I’m Anna,” she whispered, “and I hope this class gets better or I’m going to be in over my head,” She proclaimed. Fatima let out a tiny chuckle as she introduced herself. Suddenly she felt a pressing weight begin to slip away. It was a weight she had been carrying since she learned she would be attending this very university. Something in the way Anna spoke, made her realize what a burden she had been toting around for weeks. Smiling to herself, she turned to face the professor with a newly found reassurance; she wasn’t in it alone.