On the whole, I'd like to characterize myself as consistently hopeful and motivated, especially when it comes to my education. I am fortunate enough to attend a competitive university using generous financial aid, which I earned through my own merit. I continuously learn more about my-- dare I say it -- passions. I have a solid network of friends, mentors, peers, and long distance family relationships. I'm now involved in the activities I always envisioned myself doing when I applied for colleges with bated breath. Why, then, have I found myself so jaded?

I'm coining the term 'junior jadedness' because I have felt both myself and others losing optimism as we transition from underclassmen to upperclassmen. When it comes to our university's shortcomings, we pretty much know the name of the game-- the scandals, the politics, and the overarching areas of improvement. Even in our daily lives, we find ourselves going through the motions rather than fully appreciating the opportunities for growth at every corner.

Although we all experience our fair share of stress, exhaustion, and disappointments, it's time that we reminded ourselves of the bright eyed freshmen we were not too long ago. Of course, it's fantastic to have grown as people and, thus, to have raised our standards for our college experience. However, we can only perpetuate our respective inner fires by expressing gratitude for what we've done since embarking on our college journey. Just think of how floored our past selves would be by our personal, academic, and creative accomplishments!

To avoid junior jadedness (or any sense of jadedness, really) is to silence the mundane, self deprecating voices in our heads. Given the immense talent, capability, and potential of the upperclassmen here, I think we should all hold each other accountable for this-- we may be halfway done, but we certainly don't have it all figured out.