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Stephanie Ying Hawthorne

Stephanie Hawthorne

Stephanie Hawthorne

I adore the night time; when the rest of the world is asleep, I chat with the moon.

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what i ponder.



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Well, since I took a detour on the posting, here we are, back on track! I hope you enjoyed the cuteness overload as much as I did.

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone’s week has gone well; it might just be me, but it’s gone by so slow!

I like to think “what if” a lot and I know I’m not the only one. I like to imagine a parallel life of my decisions and what route my life would be on right now if I made this decision or took that chance.

It’s beyond easy to remain settled in a place in life where you’re comfortable with how it is. [Not to confuse it with contentment if this is someone’s case; that is different.] Five years ago, I felt like there was more to life than remaining in my hometown and attending the university 30 minutes away from my house and work at the same job until I obtained my degree.

It seemed like an insane idea to move away, or even out of state for college due to monetary concerns. I attended the community college here to save money and because I truly didn’t know what I wanted to declare as a major. So, my first two years of college involved an Associate’s degree in General Studies, nothing concrete since I could decide what major after I earned my first degree.

I had always wanted to go off to college and live in a dorm. Living in a new city has always been a dream to me; it was like a clean slate all over again with seeing new faces and meeting new people. No one knew my name or my past, I could start fresh with people without running into someone I knew.

The concept may seem scary, but I loved this experience.

I saw an advertisement for Austin Peay State State walking to class one day. What attracted me was this Peay Promise Scholarship that was applicable for those wanting to transfer there from my community college. I looked into it and I really liked the size and appearance of the campus.

It may seem like nothing, but I was so nervous about calling my high school to request my transcript, look into a university 5 hours away from my hometown, and have the nerve to apply without my parents knowing. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings by going this far from them.

I was awful with talking on the phone; I remember being so nervous that I told them my birthday wrong! [It’s funny now, but I got the year wrong. My birth year is 1995, but my nerves caused me to state the year we were in at the time: 2015.] It wasn’t the date in the year yet, either! Talk about embarrassing.

My next goal was paying for the application fee. At this time, I didn’t have a credit card; I didn’t want to use my debit card either. I couldn’t tell my mom that I was doing this on my own, so I bought a prepaid card and went through with it!

I remember getting the acceptance letter and email. I told my parents and they were excited for me as well, but a little sad since it was so far. That fall, we went on a tour and they understood why I wanted to go to this university.

It opened up so many new experiences for me. I met my first and only college roommate. She became my best friend that I talk to almost every day! I’ve heard terrible college roommate stories; thankfully, I lucked out with mine. We immediately had a strong friendship and discovered how we shared similar qualities. Now, she’s one of my bridesmaids; college roommates are pretty awesome too!

I honestly cannot imagine how my life would have turned out if I remained in my comfort zone and stayed in my hometown. I never would have met such wonderful professors that I admire. The creative writing and English professors were inspirations that impacted my life. I felt closer to some because they had “down-to-earth” and welcoming personalities.

I met extraordinary people that shared my love for literature and poetry. Stepping back, I am in awe of the chance of meeting these people because I know our paths would have never crossed if I hadn’t decided to step out of my comfort zone and uproot myself to a new city.

Stepping out of my comfort zone showed me that I have created my own boundaries and limits. 

I was the one who made it feel impossible to change my scenery and daily routine. I limited my life out of fear and comfort.

I was the one to change it. Switching my attitude, I created a few of the best years that I am forever grateful to live.

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