Adjusting to IU was probably not as difficult for me as facing some of my biggest fears. Nevertheless, I knew I would have to confront them at some point. Learning how to swim has always been both a passion and a constant worry of mine. As it is a crucial life skill, I have always been eager to master it. So this year I decided to go ahead and take swimming as one of my classes. I remember while enrolling for it and going through the list of classes I could take, I was amazed by all the choices I had (you can find everything from Ballroom dancing to Fencing to Taekwondo!).
While I am good at grasping the techniques quickly, going towards the deeper side of the pool makes me break into a sweat. So you can imagine my pleasant surprise when my classmates and instructor cheered me on to let go of the side of the pool and just have faith in myself. My hands were cold as ice and while I did hesitate quite a bit, I finally did it. I let go and didn't fall to my death life like I so fervently believed I would. That was a piece of cake in comparison to what my instructor asked me to do next. He wanted me to swim all the way back to the shallow end. I was close to tears but after what seemed like hours, I finally moved. Of course the swim back wasn't as perfect as I’d imagine it to be as I stopped and coughed out water multiple times. Still, I did reach the end.
This was an emotional moment for me not just because I took the courage to do something, but because it was the first time my parents weren't next to me to experience it with me. I guess that’s just part of being an international student.
There will be times when you’ll suddenly miss home and would wish you had your loved ones next to you, but I think that in the end what truly shows your growth is your self-confidence and courage. I think I gained a bit more strength that day.