If I look back to who I was a year ago, I see someone completely different. I have had lots of time to reflect on myself, my friends, and the rest of the world, and it has shown me more than I could have ever imagined. I had been sheltered from a lot emotionally as a kid, and I experienced a lot in both my senior year of high school, and my first year in college, but I do not think I would handle these things the same way.
First of all, it was a shock for me to be away from the only home I have ever known. It is a pretty typical feeling for a first year, right? I was the only one of my friends who had left New York City for college, and I went from having a few full circles of friends, to just my roommate. It was hard. I missed being able to just leave my house to walk, or take the MTA over to a friend's house, I wanted nothing more than to talk to them. Those jokes about FaceTime being the most precious thing when it is all you can have are true. Whenever I was not in class, I was on the phone with my best friend. At night, I would have group skype calls with more of my close friends.
I spent a lot of first semester in the dumps. After going through the things I went through in senior year, I felt emotionally deprived. It felt weird for me to have to learn how to trust and love new people. I stuck with my roommate 99% of the time because I had just closed myself off. Needless to say, I felt like I was in an emotional void a lot of the time. I did however make friends. I had my friends I made during orientation, I got close with some people in my classes, and I met people through others. I got through first semester despite the drama going on in my personal life, and the constant need to always be home. (Which does get expensive, and I'm thankful my family could afford all the back and forth.)
Winter break was the only thing that kept me going. The idea that I could go home and be with the people I loved and I knew loved me was so comforting. It was amazing to be back home, and to go back to everything I was used to. If you have kept up with my articles, you know I went to London for part of my break. My trip there was honestly the thing that I felt changed me in a way. I was already generally happy because I was home, but I learned a lot from being around a completely different culture. It was such a breath of fresh air in a way, and I came back home different somehow.
I started second semester ready to conquer the next few months. I was ready to be a shark and get through my classes, and audition for the school musical. Two weeks in, I had to return home for a personal matter, and when I returned my roommate had moved out. I understood why she did, and I knew we had our differences, but I had decided that this did not impact me. I do however recognize what happened between my roommate and I, and I know where I take fault, but hey not everything is always meant to work out. My other friends at school knew about what was going on, and reassured me that I still had them no matter what.
I had also gotten news that I got cast as ensemble in the musical, and I was more than over the top to be in a real production. If anything, this musical felt like hell on Earth more days than others. I met a room full of amazingly talented people, and they made SUNY Oswego feel like a home. It felt like I was in high school again in a way since I had gone to an art school. Sure this musical ate up all of my free time, but I had practiced time management more than ever since I had to balance rehearsal, ten classes, and laundry.
I am overall not mad about how my first year went. If anything, it was a year of lesson and experience. I also feel that I have a better sense of self, and who I want to be. For now, I will just keep remembering that who I am is my business. I know what the f*ck I said, and since I cannot control everything, I just need to remember the validity of my side. People will take things the way they want to, and none of that is bad. We all have our own experiences, but we cannot always make people understand our version of the same story. With that, I am glad this year is over, and I cannot wait to see what next year will hold.
Also this may be cliche, but seriously, do not ever let anyone dull your sparkle.