Life has been a whirlwind since I started classes again, but in the most healthy way possible.
After sitting down with my advisor a few weeks ago and laying all of my thoughts and emotions out on the table, things have been just fine.
She wasn’t just looking to discuss my trip, like what I saw and what I did: she wanted to know how I changed from my experience. I think that’s all I really needed.
While every day I’m still learning how I’ve changed from being in Jordan, I’ve been extremely lucky to have the resources I have here at school. I know exactly where to turn if I ever need anything.
I’ve also been extremely lucky and so thankful to have met the people that I have since returning, and I’ve found a great circle of friends and a support system that was quite limited before I left for Jordan.
I am now a part of the Muslim Student Association, a new student organization formed while I was gone by a few MENA (Middle Eastern/North African) students who felt it was something that should be better represented on campus to help dispel stereotypes. The result of joining was a group of new friends that I never imagined I would have when I came back to America.
They’ve been so inclusive and what’s interesting is how much they learn from me while I learn just as much from them when we exchange our cultural differences between their host countries and my time in Jordan. In a way, I’m kind of seen by them as the white Jordanian on campus, expert on all things Jordan.
Regardless, I honestly think it’s been the best thing to happen to me since coming back and it’s been amazing to see how life has played out for me since I returned.
Initially I was so stressed to be starting school but still having that overwhelming feeling that I shouldn’t be here and that I should be back in Jordan.
While I still see myself returning to Jordan, whether in the near future or when life brings me back that direction, I’m so much more content living with what’s been placed in front of me now and in this present moment.
I’m still constantly in touch with everyone back in Jordan—although Luyi and Jack are off doing their own things in Morocco and Switzerland at the moment—but I no longer feel like my wanting to be back there needs to or should be the most dominant thing in my life.
Maybe the reason is that I’ve been fortunate enough to find a group of friends that, while they won’t replace what I had with my friends back in Jordan, are just a new experience that I was meant to have.
Either way, my perspective on life has been much better these last few weeks and I’m excited to watch these new friendships grow and take their shape. Who knows: maybe the friendships I make now will take me down another exciting path in my future. Inshallah.