The Story of The First "Adult" Roller Coaster

At the time of riding my first ‘adult’ roller coaster, I was about 9. The experience was both terrible and delightful and could have left me traumatized for life. I probably would have never ridden a roller coaster again if it had not been for my growing love of challenge. In what my nine-year-old self likely considered my darkest hour, my dad quickly assured me from the seat next to me that I was not going to die despite my insistence that the ride would lead to my imminent death.

This was one moment that assured me that life evens out, even in situations that involved my ‘challenge by choice’ mentality being the cause of my anguish. Similar to the coaster, many of my firsts did not happen due to my own investment of time and money into their happening. Rather, it was the investment of others. College however, is an investment of personal time, emotional ability and tweaks an attitude of voluntary struggle.

Reflecting on my first three weeks of college has left me feeling refreshed, surrounded by passionate individuals – the kind of interactions I prioritize within my life. I am finally feeling as if I have permission to shamelessly tell my story and express my unique individuality. This newfound freedom has motivated me to enter each day with an open mind, walking into a room and looking to find friends; not just accepting individuals as strangers. Finding said friends has been easier than anticipated and having the opportunity to discuss my firsts with those experiencing similar things has been a relief.

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Navigation campus was originally stressful but has now become part of my daily routine; I am now encouraging myself to explore new corners of the place in which I now live. In attempt to challenge myself further, I have been attending weekly meetings hosted by Spectrum, an organization supported by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center; a reminder of my confidence in my identity on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. This experience continues to mirror that of my first ‘adult’ roller coaster; simultaneously overwhelming and exciting.

Finding moments that parallel my nine-year-old excitement has become my ultimate goal for this semester, alongside the given targets; grades, mental and physical wellbeing, strong relationships. I am confident my mental to-do list will be altered hundreds of times through the rest of the semester, presenting me a host of new challenges. I want to accept these changes openly, using them as a checkpoint for personal growth. In addition to refreshing human interactions, my classes have sparked curiosity – giving me opportunities to tap into my personal interests and explore the importance of critical thinking and research. Before selecting a college, I worried that I would struggle to find a school that would accept not only my authentic self but my passions for art and a career in Art Therapy. Three weeks into classes and I feel certain that UNC will support my untraditional career goals.

Through the Roose readings, I have been reminded of my unique goals as the novel is centered around a very distinctive research project. I am finding the readings much more interesting than I originally anticipated, enjoying the messages behind Roose’s writing and feeling personally challenged by the Liberty Way. Additionally, I have found myself disagreeing with Roose in the way he carried out his project, testing the gray area of ethical consideration. Despite this, I appreciate Roose facing his doubts of forming close relationships, wanting the protect the mental and emotional wellbeing of his newfound friends. I look forward to finishing this novel and reflecting on Roose’s experience. I hope that through reading this work that I will be motivated to branch out in this first semester and the entirety of my college experience.

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The Story of The First "Adult" Roller Coaster. (2022, Mar 07). Retrieved from

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