This week I’m highlighting my favorite fellow bloggers, as well as some new bloggers on the scene. Today, please read about Michelle, a dear friend of mine who is also a Spelmanite. Here is her ‘about Michelle’:
“I left for Spelman three months shy of my 18th birthday. It was the change I believe that I needed. So, packed all up with things typical of a college students. . . notebooks, pens, towels, sheets, and a trunk full of other ‘away from home goodies’, I boarded a plane from Boston to Atlanta. I was certain this move meant change, a new start. But while away at college, I was faced with a harsh reality. . .while I was able to successfully leave home, I still managed to bring every one of my problems with me. Whether I wanted my problems, ‘my past’ along for this journey or not they found their way to Atlanta, and my daily struggle was not going to class, it was looking in the mirror and convincing myself that I didn’t hate the person staring back at me.
See, there are certain things that I recall growing up that played a huge part in how I viewed myself, what I settled for, and what I allowed to happen. I struggled with being accepted because I grew up on a street where the kids would play with me on some days and other days they harassed me. One day, they came to my front door, rung the doorbell and wanted me to come outside to play. Once I made it downstairs to the front door, it was about six kids who greeted me, and then beat me up; I was no more than 8 years old. Then there was the time where we met in the school yard at the corner of Forest and Mt. Pleasant Streets to play. One of the girls had skates, and we took turns skating in the school yard and on the adjacent streets. It was my turn to skate, and I was so excited. I took off my white lace up shoes and temporarily traded them for the white, lace-up skates. I skated up and down the hill two to three times and made my way back to the school yard. I hopped up on the wall ready to pass the skates onto the next person, only to realize my shoes were no where in sight, no one would look at me and no one said a word. I panicked. “Where are my shoes?” No one responded, and I just knew my mother was going to kill me. She was going to start by telling me that I wasn’t supposed to wear those shoes out of the house anyway. Then she was going to wonder why I would take my shoes off to put on someone else’s skates. As thoughts of the impending conversation with my mother was going threw my head, I spotted my shoes. Someone had thrown them in a murky puddle of water; they were soaked. Still, no one said anything, they just laughed. I had to wade through the puddle to get my shoes out, and then I had to walk home barefoot. That same little wounded and rejected girl accompanied me to college, and she demanded a lot of my attention.
So, while many freshmen enjoyed the experiences their freshman year brought, I was battling to stay afloat. I wanted to fit in, make friends, but rejection kept saying that know one would accept you. They’ll reject you… just like before.”