Freshman Year Reflection

If I can say one thing, it's that one year turns into one week just like that. Two days to be exact. Tomorrow I finish my final exam and Thursday morning I leave for the airport. This school year has been such a rollercoaster ride with constant ups and downs and pauses where I felt it would never go up again. Whenever someone asks how my freshman year went, I tend to respond with the same comment each time, "it was a learning experience". In all honesty, it was. I feel that I've learned more about myself this year on my own than I have in all 18 and a half years I've lived. And I'm only going to learn more and more about myself as these years progress and as I become a *real* adult.

It's honestly hard for me to believe that my freshman year of college has come to an end. I remember the day I applied for college. Unlike most college students, I did something kinda (really lol) stupid: I applied to one college and one college only. I applied for early action so that way I'd get my decision before that December and would still have time to apply to other colleges. The day I got my acceptance letter to George Mason University was singlehandedly one of the greatest days of my life. That moment was literally life changing. From that I decided to not apply to any other colleges. I filled out other applications but never sent them in. At the time I just thought I was being lazy and didn't feel like doing anymore work but now I realize that there was a reason I didn't apply to any others: I was meant to be here. I decided to go to a college in an area I had never lived and had only been once a couple years prior. I knew nothing of the college, who it was named after, or what I was going to do with myself in all honesty. I just knew it felt right. Granted I did have some doubts at first but they slowly washed away as I met people who I would be going to school with.

Fast forward a little to the first couple months of my college years. Virginia became my home and I was doing well on my own, had my first job where I learned how difficult customer service can actually be, and thought I had my life together. How naive I was. I would eventually start to hate my job, have problems with friends, my roommate, floor mates, and hate being on my own. The only thing I may have learned more about than myself is other people. Not everyone has your own best interest at heart or their personal best interest at heart for that matter.

The relationships I've made in college have without a doubt been a whirlwind. Friends that I thought I would have for a while I don't even speak to anymore, people that I didn't like became my closest friends, and one of my best friends became my boyfriend (cue audience ooo-ing noises). A takeaway from the relationships I've had is that you can't want for people what they don't want for themselves. I have a friend who will remain unnamed who is not happy with their life and me wanting the best for them, I took on some of their problems and I worried for them when they were not worried for them self. That began to backfire when their unhappiness started to consume them and as a result, they started to thrive off of me being unhappy as well. That was the first time I realized that I can't wish for anyone to do well in their life or to be happy and successful if they do not want to be happy and successful themselves. You can't stop your life for others who don't want to be helped (J Cole wasn't lying when he said "don't save her, she don't wanna be saved"). At the end of the day, people can't and won't lose at their lives because you can't win at yours.

Another huge lesson I learned the hard way in my freshman year: be careful who you tell things to. Whether it's your family, friends, acquaintances or whomever not everyone cares, most people are just curious. I had a friend who I grew super close to my first semester and half of my second semester. Like any friend pair, we told another the majority of things that happened in our lives. The difference is that I didn't take what she said to me and ridicule it behind her back. I found out around spring break time that from the beginning of the school year, before she even knew me, she had been speaking poorly of me behind my back. It hurt at first and then I realized that she was not actually my friend, she was not someone I needed in my life, and her sentiments were not a reflection of me but of her. Eleanor Roosevelt once said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" and let me tell ya, homegirl was right. Once you realize that people can't hurt you unless you let what they say affect you, you'll be a million times better off in your life. I promise you. Day by day I realize that  the only opinion of me that matters is my own. And honestly, if someone is not paying for your education or helping you succeed in life then what they have to say about what you do with your life is incredibly irrelevant.

And I know what you might be thinking, you should trust no h*e in college. That's definitely not true. Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed in your life and who are as ambitious and supportive as you are. It's amazing what happens when you have happy great people in your life! My parents are my biggest fans and my friends and my boyfriend are my cheerleaders and vice versa. Support the people in your life just as much as they support you, mind your own, rid the bad from your life and you'll find yourself in the happiest little bubble you've ever been in. You are under no obligation to stay in toxic relationships with anyone in your life.

Aside from the relationships I've learned from my freshman year, there is no one else I've learned from more than myself. Whether it was trusting my instincts and making ~~~adult~~~ decisions or being able to write a three paged single spaced paper in two hours (heh heh), I've surprised myself this year. I am a lot more self sufficient than I realized (I'm still dependent on my parents and that's okay). My mom is not here to tell me what I need to do and as a result I have to do it all myself. I've taken control of my life and I have no plans to ever go back. I have the opportunity to create the world around me and to mold it and shape it to what I desire and the feeling is pretty damn great if I do say so myself.

I know what I want from my life and I'm willing to take the steps to get there but at the same time, I have no idea where I'm going and I'm still finding my way. As I leave freshman year behind, I look forward with bright eyes to the rest of my years in college. My future is so close I can almost touch it and yet I'm still taking it slow because before I know it, it'll be ten years from now and I'll laugh at the trivial things that once seemed important to me now. As I close on this article I leave you with a quote from Matilda the Musical that I've applied to college (musical theatre is great and I'll willing fight anyone who disagrees): "It is quiet and I am warm, like I've sailed into the eye of the storm". College is the most chaotic safe haven you'll ever have. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Ciao for now,