Leadership Development · Personal Life

Freshman Year Review

I hear many students around campus talking about “how fast this school year went”. fullsizeoutput_e66I nod my head and think about how in just a short week I will be done with my first ever year of college. It went by so incredibly fast, it feels like yesterday I moved in.

Then I sit and reflect on everything that happened in such a short year and realize how much I actually went through to get where I am today. I switched my major three times, finished 35 credits, joined two organizations, accepted an eBoard position, interned at a church, switched rooms, took multiple exams, met my two best friends and found my passion all in two semesters.

IMG_1107 I battled depression and anxiety all while learning ways to cope with life away from home. I discovered what works for me when I am upset, and I have learned how not to get upset. I found myself. I learned that I was a different person than I was just a short nine months ago. I am stronger, more passionate and overall a more open minded person.

College changed me. Some ways good, some ways bad. I am a better listener, I care about people and their beliefs. I know what I want in my future and I have found friends that will stick by me. I have learned to take naps anywhere, and I have gained the confidence to go to class before even getting ready. I have also learned that the stress of college WILL make you gain weight no matter how much you work out and eat healthily. College will make you fatter no matter how much you try for it not to. IMG_0633

Something that I realized pretty early on, is how much I value my friendships at home. The people that I surrounded myself with at home, are people that I still love and cherish just as much as my new friends. I appreciate them so much. They listened to me cry, came and visited me and reminded me that home isn’t so far away when you stay in touch with the people that matter. IMG_2239My friends from home are my rocks. They have supported me in everything I have done and I cannot thank them enough.

All in all, this year in total sparked many emotions. I now appreciate my parents and family so much more. I live every day in the moment and I have met the two most amazing women that I know will be forever friends. I value life and family and friendships.

IMG_1871I also learned that college sucks. It is a phrase that every college student has mumbled at least once under their breath. College sucks, but it is also the most amazing thing at the same time. It is different, it is challenging but it is also rewarding. The late nights studying almost ruined me, the early mornings were not my favorite, the cafeteria food could have been better, some people I met were strange, not all of my professors knew my name and there are no adults around to rescue you. It is the transitional period from adolescence to a real live adult.

BUT I MADE IT. I really did. I received mostly A’s and am still on track to graduate! WOW, who would have thought? Life could not get any better than it is right now. I appreciate everything my parents, friends, and advisors did to get me where I am today. I look back to just 5 months ago where I was considering dropping out and all these people helped make sure that I made it. I owe everything to them.

This year is one I will NEVER forget. I have found who I truly want to be. I cannot wait for the three amazing years and endless opportunities ahead of me. fullsizeoutput_e6a

 

 

Personal Life

An Open Letter to the Girl Who goes Home Every Weekend

You’re the biggest hypocrite.

You spent your entire high school career working for scholarships and good grades to get into your dream school.

You spent your time not dating boys because you knew you’d find the one in college

You bragged to your friends about how you could not wait to leave home and find yourself.

College isn’t what you expected, though.

The first month was fun. You met new people. Went to class. And it was just as you imagined it.

Until you got sick. Not a physical cold, or 24-hour flu but a painful mental illness. You cry and cry and cry. You feel so alone even though you have 50+ “family” members at school rooting for you to succeed. Even though you have your loving and supportive family at home.  Even though you have three beautiful roommates who push you to have fun. Even though your professors and faculty are doing everything they can for you to succeed.

You want to go out with your friends but you can’t. You want to stay the whole weekend but you can’t. You hold back the tears, you put on the smile and you pretend to be having the time of your life. But you’re not.

Going home is nothing to be ashamed of. Your mental health is more important than the parties or the football games or the social gatherings. You take care of your brain before you take care of your expectations of college.

Crying is okay. Going home is okay. Taking care of yourself is okay. Working to be the best person you can be is okay.

People may judge you, they don’t mean to upset you. Ignore the snarky comments about how you’re going home AGAIN. They don’t understand and you shouldn’t expect them to, you didn’t understand it just a few short months ago. They don’t know the pain you go through. They don’t understand the panic attacks you experience walking into a crowded room. Or the exhaustion you experience from just attending class. Depression and anxiety are not easy.

You had it easy in high school. You didn’t fully understand the effect these horrible mental diseases have on people. You couldn’t fully understand people who didn’t want to hang out, or couldn’t physically get out of bed. But now you do.

You now have a new perspective on how mental illnesses can create an everyday struggle. Mental illness is not understood or even talked about in today’s age. It has made your transition into life at college a horrible experience, and you wish there were more options for people like you to seek help. For you, the best option at this point is to go home every weekend.

To the girl who goes home every weekend. You’re loved. God loves you, your family at school and home love you and the staff at your university love you.

Everyone handles this transition in a different way. College is about finding yourself; whether that be how you have fun or how you take care of yourself.

Even if you aren’t suffering from a mental illness it is still OKAY to go home.

Home should be your safe place. Home should be somewhere you want to go. But you also need to learn that the real world is calling and you can’t be at home forever.

But for now, do what you need to do to survive your first year at college.

I’ll be working on it, and I hope you do too.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:6-7