Friends and Family

This semester has brought many new events into my life. I am in my new major and I absolutely love it. That being said, I have also had to deal with many new things such as my family growing and getting my first apartment. I am dealing with more adult stuff than before and, even though I know I will make mistakes, I am ready for everything that life has to throw at me… I hope!

Since I changed my major to horticulture science, I learned that I can combine my love of science and plants together. I am learning so much about plants and what being a horticulture major is really about. Although I am not sure what I want to do with my degree, I am hoping to do as many internships as I can so I can see what I like doing and what I don’t like doing. I am interested in either nursery production or greenhouse management, but at the same time, landscaping sounds pretty amazing. I’m not sure what I want to do, and I know at some point I will have to make a decision. That’s what being an adult is about. It’s about making grown-up decisions and sticking with those decisions.

I have recently started looking for apartments in Raleigh since I live an hour away from NC State. I commuted all last semester, and I am still commuting this semester. Commuting is not for me, so my partner and I are getting an apartment with two other people. I have never done anything like this, so the whole process is new to me. My friend, Adriana, has already been through this process, so she is teaching me the art of apartment hunting. We have found an apartment that we all really like, and have started the application process. We are all hoping we get the apartment as it will make my life easier. If we get the apartment, I won’t have to waste about two hours everyday driving back and forth from home to school. Adriana also commutes, as does my partner, so getting an apartment will make things easier. The process for me is nerve wrecking as this is the most adult thing I have ever done, and I don’t have someone to hold my hand through the whole process. I know at some point I have to grow up and do things on my own. I know that if I need help, I always have people around me that are willing to help. I just have to ask! I’m not really good at reaching out to people, but I have gotten better in recent months. Everyone struggles as some point in their life, and people are always willing to help if you just ask.

Adriana and I have been friends for about six years. We met in our junior year of high school, and we went to the same community college. We both decided to apply to NC State, both got in, and are both Goodnight Scholars. Most people say we look like each other, but we disagree. Many people think we are sisters since we are always together, but we’re just really good friends! We have done pretty much everything together and we both support each other in any decision we have to make. We have both gone through the craziness of being new at NC State, and adjusting to being students, while also trying to have a personal life. Her personal life has been crazier than mine. Her partner has a son, so she essentially became a step mom when she got together with her partner. Because of this, she has had to grow up faster than most of the students at NC State. She has different priorities than the students here as she has to be there for her family. We have both struggled, but it’s nice knowing that you have someone to talk to about your problems. We meet up at least once every week and just talk about how our week has been going and what new things are happening. Having someone to talk to makes life easier and can relieve some of the stress of being an adult.

My sister has also had to become an adult faster than most people. She got pregnant at an early age and she now has three kids with one on the way. She recently got married and now has her own house. She has started a family on her own, and has found a way to support that family. My mom and I try to help her out as much as we can. Even though her story is not the most conventional, she has done pretty well in life. She now has a loving husband and a place she can call her own. Her two oldest kids are going to the same elementary school that we all went to. We get to see them sing and dance in performances at the school. They both enjoy school, and my sister is doing all she can to make sure they get a good education, so they can get ahead in life. It’s not easy looking after three kids, and I can’t imagine how one would even begin to do that. What she does is truly amazing and I will continue to support her no matter what.

I also have a brother who recently started going to college. Last year, my brother got accepted into Stanford University which means that he has been in California for about a year now. He has grown up and left the nest. When he was living with my mom, he received a lot of help from her. Now he is all on his own and has to make decisions for himself. He is enjoying the college life and has decided on what he wants to do with his life. He is majoring in urban studies and plans on getting a minor in Chicanx/Latinx studies and French. He also plans on going to law school after he finishes at Stanford. He has had many exciting opportunities to travel to Chicago, Virginia, and even France! I have noticed that he has grown as a person since he has been in California. It is almost like he had to move across the country to figure out who he really is! We are all very proud of him and can’t wait to see what exciting new things he will do next.

My mom has had to deal with all the new changes that have been happening. She’s had to deal with my sister starting a new family, and me and my brother going off to college and starting a life of our own. She has always supported us no matter what, and always wants the best for us. She is happy to see us all grow up, but I know that I will miss her when I leave. There’s nothing like coming home and having your mom prepare you your favorite meal after a long day! Family and friends have always been important to me, but until now, I never knew how much I relied on them.

My life has had some major changes. Some have been good, and others have not, but I have accepted them and moved on. I am in the process of growing up and I know that I will make mistakes. After all that is what being an adult is about. You make mistakes and then you grow from them.

Photography credit: Marilu Salazar/Goodnight Scholars Program