Wednesday, May 26, 2010

First Year of College: Done

May 26, 2010. Officially done with my first year of college. I remember six weeks ago being in so much pain, pain that almost won the battle. But that didn't happen. Pain didn't win. With the support from friends, family, and even orthopedic doctor, Dr. Sinha, I pushed through - limping around to class every single day. I think being ill and in pain pushes me to stay in school and motivates me to go everyday. I remember coming one day from school, Danielle was dropping me off, and during a red light, she looked over and said, "Shahana, I don't know how you do it. You've never missed chemistry lab. The only reason I come to lab is you." Her words touched my heart, and I looked at her and said, "I just do it." Really, I just do it. Think about it though, I'm doing what I should be doing. Sickness may handicap me from walking, running, going up a flight of stairs, but it does not handicap me from doing well in school. I still have a brain, and might I add, a brain that is very sharp. Hehe.

Education is very important to me. However, after being diagnosed wih Lupus in 2008, my outlook on education changed - not completely, but in a fair amount. Before, all I cared about was school. I was so competitive. Always looking for perfection. I needed to be perfect. And I was. Now, though I use white-out in my notebooks to keep clean notes, I am more lenient. In my first year of college, I don't think I ever crazy studying for a final or midterm - I simply knew I had to study and did so accordingly. And in the times I could, I enjoyed by going out and having good times and laughs with friends. It reallys hurts to see friends studying like it's the end of the world. Having an easy mind, a mind solely dedicated to learning is the way to reach success. Learning is not the same as going to college for an education, which easily becomes a burden.

This semester was not at all easy. With my constant hip complaints, I wasn't able to push myself as much as I wanted to. But I learned about my limitations. Sometimes it's good to say, "No, I can't do that" or "I need to relax." Even with all the complaints, I am proud of some of my achievements: making it on the Dean's List, raising $178 for AIDS Walk, attending an AIDS Benefit Concert and meeting Cuba's famous singer: Xiomara Laugart, and healing my toe. It's officially normal looking.

Going to college everyday was a relief for me - relief from the world of doctors appointments I had on a weekly/monthly basis. I'm preparing for surgery, which is less than one week from now, and let me tell you, preparing for surgery has not been easy. Surgical pre-testing and such was during the same time of final exams - I don't know how I managed everything, but I did.

I'm so ready for my new hip.

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