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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

BELL: True North

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As high school ended without a graduation, I felt lost and adrift in a sea of people who seemed to know exactly who they were and who they would become. My peers all sounded confident about their futures, while I was struggling to point in any direction. It felt like I was a compass with a needle spinning around and around, trying and failing to find North. I ended up choosing Marquette, completely unsure if it was the right decision. 

You know the scenes in movies where there is a bustle of people moving at high speed, but there is a character in the middle who is frozen? That was how I felt the first few months. I called my mom constantly, and everyday, she would tell me to “just keep saying yes.” She encouraged me to say yes to plans with my dorm neighbors, to new experiences and to things that made me uncomfortable. Easy for her to say, but I tried. After every “yes,” no matter how uncomfortable it was or how much I didn’t want to go, I slowly felt like I might be okay. By the end of the year, I still had that sinking feeling of aimlessness, but I was armed with a group of friends and new hobbies. The spinning needle was starting to slow; I felt more steady. 

Before the beginning of sophomore year, my parents moved from Illinois to Georgia. My biggest support system was now a thousand miles farther away. I felt like any progress I had made was gone. I was longing for a home that didn’t really exist anymore, and “home” definitely wasn’t my little room in Wells St. Hall. If I didn’t have a home to start from, how was I supposed to get anywhere? Just when I felt like I was getting the hang of life, the needle picked up the pace again. But I started to lean more on my friendships, learning along the way that I wasn’t the only one who was unsure of themselves. Soon, it became easier to handle and maybe the needle wasn’t spinning as fast as it looked.

My next step was studying abroad. The distance to Georgia paled in comparison to the distance to London, but I was determined to make the absolute most of the three months I was there. I learned to be comfortable in my own company and actually enjoy it. The experience came at the perfect time and it gave me the perspective that I needed to continue on.

The rest of junior year bled into senior year. It was a jumble of exploring Milwaukee, classes, basketball games and work. The needle wasn’t steady, but it started teetering between East and West. Surprise! It was another setback. An injury that needed surgery forced me to miss the first few weeks of spring semester. Not a big deal until one surgery turned into two, and two turned into three. What was initially supposed to be a minor bump in the road became missing six weeks of senior year and laying in a hospital bed on my 21st birthday. It had the potential to make me miss out on yet another graduation. I was heartbroken, but it felt different this time. The sinking feeling I used to have when I hit a setback was replaced with an assurance that everything would work out the way it was meant to. 

I’m graduating in a few weeks and that compass I’ve held onto still isn’t steady at North. It’s swaying back and forth, but it passes over North far more often than it used to. I don’t think it will ever hit true North, but really what is life, if not the journey? 

Mom and Dad, I’ll never be able to thank you enough for your constant support and advice, I love you. 

And my friends at the Wire! Thank you for making saying “yes” to a job as designer one of the best ones! I’ll cherish the nights spent at the back table for a long time. 

This story was written by Kendal Bell. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Kendal Bell, Designer
Kendal Bell is a senior from Sandwich, Illinois majoring in criminology and psychology and minoring in data science. This is her third year as a designer for both the Marquette Tribune and Marquette Journal. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and is a big Chicago sports fan, especially baseball and hockey.

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