As finals approach and we all pack our bags to move back home for the summer, I can't help but think about everything college has done for me. Freshman year of college has been the best year of my life, and I can't believe that it all happened so quickly. College has made me into a better version of myself and has taught me so many things other than academics.

College has taught me to be confident. I've never been around a group of people that accept me as much as I have in college. I've never felt more myself and have never felt better about myself. There are so many people similar, and different, to me here and it's so refreshing to see everyone coming together.

College has brought me life long friends. In high school I always felt the need to put a mask on or pretend, but I have better friends here than I could've ever hoped for. I've met friends that have become family, and have a support group that will stand by me no matter what.

College has brought me independence. Living without my parents was a terrifying thought, but college taught me that I can do it and do it well. College has prepared me to live on my own and branch away from my small town.

College has brought me opportunities. College introduced me to the career field that I am excited and ready to go into and is giving me amazing experiences and teaching me so many new things about childcare and teaching.

College has brought me the love of my life. I met my boyfriend here, and he means the absolute world to me. Without coming to college I would've never met him.

College has brought me tears and sadness, but most of all good memories. All of the crying over friend breakups and missed tests is worth it for the number of good memories I've had my freshman year. Everything from movie nights in my small dorm room, to midnight McDonald's runs, to laughing until my stomach hurts, to all of the ice cream runs after mental breakdowns (which happen a lot).

My freshman year has taught me who I am as a person and has turned strangers into a family in just a few short months.

As I am getting ready to say goodbye to this chapter of my life, I can't help but shed a tear. I'll never be a college freshman again, but the memories will continue.

As I'm packing, saying goodbye to friends that have become family, professors that have become mentors, and these dorm room walls that have become home, I realize that this has been the best time of my life.

See ya freshman year, I'll always love you.