Five minutes into being the youngest sibling, my lavish lifestyle of being the youngest was stripped away when my twin sister was born. That meant $10 instead of $20 on birthdays. It meant sharing cakes, and it ended up meaning being forced to wear the same outfits until I could dress myself. Let's just say I started dressing myself rather young.
In college I finally became Jamilia, but who is that? I had no clue. Who am I when I’m not Mimi’s sister, or the Pastor's daughter, or someone's girlfriend? I had to relearn everything I knew.
Unfortunately, my idea of learning wasn’t as educational but more on the destructive side as I finally got a taste of freedom. But the weekends became the same. Party. Dance. Repeat. I was surrounded by “friends” but never felt more alone.
I realized the things that made me happy had nothing to do with other people. Honestly, I didn’t like being around people. People hurt you, but something I had to learn is they also love you. But as people walked in and out of my life — and love slowly turned into hurt — there was only one person who stayed. In times when I didn’t deserve it, I left him stranded and forgot how great his love is for me. There he is with his arms open … Jesus.
I’ve always known him, but because of what other people told me. I had to go to church every Sunday and bible studies on Wednesday. It was forced on me, but as I started to experience college and life worshiping Jesus became something I wanted to do instead of something I had to do.
As my time in Bloomsburg comes to an end, I can’t help but remember how amazing he is. Taking my senior portraits and wearing my cap and gown in a time when people who look like me don’t make it to graduation, especially not graduating from college.
Four years later ...
I’m still that loner girl you see walking around college with her headphones on 1,000 wearing her personality as clothes — but instead of her head being down like when she was as a freshman — she struts like college is her runway (and it is).
I’m still that awkward, shy girl who only has to rehearse conversations twice now; but now I’m not afraid to say what I want and don’t want. I dance in the middle of the bar even if I’m the only one like it’s a late night in my bedroom.
This time I’m not afraid to be me without the embarrassment of not being cool. Maybe finding my voice isn’t about making friends or being outgoing, maybe it’s about finding me. I found my voice in my writing, in my amazing sense of style lol, in my faith, and in things I love and loved too much.
Maybe being cool is overrated ...
I'll stick to being me. She is me; I am her.
— Jamilia Hall, a senior communication studies major with an emphasis on organizational communication, is interning with the Office of Marketing and Communications this spring. She is a native of Darby and is a fan of the Vampire Diaries.