Going Into My Final Semester Of College

Going Into My Final Semester Of College

Holy Moley, time flew.

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Freshmen year of college I had towers of fresh notebooks, brand new bedding, and excited jitters all over. This was a new beginning for me and I could smell the adventures and friendships ahead. Now, I am here going into my final semester of this chapter, and all I can think about is HOW?!

I am so excited to see and guide the incoming freshmen as they are in the same position I was three years ago. Their excitement reminds me why I continued on this path. There is so much to do, so much to experience, and so much to learn. Not only in the classroom, but in the dorm, on Friday nights, in the cafeteria, and even late nights in the library.

I learned so much in my freshmen year, even before the end. I learned about true friendship and temporary friends. Not everyone you meet the first day is a forever friend, even if you have a class or mutual friends in common. I learned that some people are selfish and can't think past the tip of their nose. I learned that trust is something that should be earned, not just handed out like candy on Halloween. I learned what to truly look for in a friend, and not let a toxic person take over my life again.

Aside from the social education, I figured out exactly what I wanted to do after college. Of course, I didn't figure it out until towards the end of the school year. I got so excited I almost wished my college years away. That was a mistake I hope no one else makes.

The last three years have been my own road. I have attended events just because (there was free food), volunteered for causes I believe in, taken internships to better my communication and skills, made spontaneous trips to explore the world around me, met people I never knew would impact my world they way they did and made connections in all corners along the way. My only regret is not getting involved sooner and taking more chances.

Five years from now, I hope I am living my best life; have my dream career in hand, a fur baby, and a nice place to live. A year from now, I hope to have a job and be successfully "adulting.". In four months from now, I will be a college graduate ready to take on the world.

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A Letter To My Angel, Amanda

Rest Easy Angel 11.07.18

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Amanda,

Your death has been the hardest thing for me to accept because every day I knew you, you were so full of life. You were radiant. Your presence lit up every room you walked into and your infectious laugh filled it. You cared for everyone and put others before yourself. You were one of my first forever friends.

You accepted and loved me for everything I was and everything I was not. You kept me company whether we were sitting in my basement doing nothing at all or spending the day in New York City. You were constantly making me laugh and were always there for me.

I scroll through my camera roll and your Facebook all the time and there are so many random pictures of us that I can't place, that I can't explain, but they're my favorite pictures because they remind me that we have so many memories together that it's impossible to remember them all.

But every time I think of you I'm overwhelmed with seas of memories that I can remember every moment of. Do you remember when we went to your farmhouse for the weekend and spent hours melting crayons with a hair dryer to make our own board? Well, that picture ended up being my Dads background for about 6 years, I still can't tell you why.

Or the day I found out I was moving back to California and you held me while I ugly-cried and told me that we would be friends no matter how far apart we were because you knew that was my biggest fear? And then moving day when you came over and drew notes in sharpie over all of my boxes and we made a mattress slide?

I have countless memories that include you that I'll cherish forever, from playing Just Dance with you in the basement to sharing our 13th birthday party.

These past two months I've been full of anger. I've been angry at the world for taking you and angry at myself for letting life and distance get in the way. I'll probably hold a piece of that anger for the rest of my life but I'll also hold eternal appreciation and admiration for you.

I want to tell you that I appreciate that you were always there for me when I needed someone. I appreciate that you could make me laugh until I couldn't breathe even on my worst days. I appreciate that you accepted me for all my flaws and never expected perfection. I appreciate that you were always supportive and encouraging and most of all I appreciate that you were the most amazing friend.

I want you to know that I admire your strength. I admire how you were always able to find the good in everything and see the best in everyone. I admire how selfless you were, always putting others before yourself. I admired how nonjudgmental you were, you always gave the best advice. I admire how hard headed you could be, never giving up until you reached your goal but more importantly I admired you for being you.

Remembering you is so easy, it's having to miss you that's so hard. My life is better because you were a part of it and I'm far from the only one. There is an army of people that miss you every day that will carry a piece of you forever. Rest easy, angel.

I love you.

Shea.

You are forever in our hearts. 

Amanda Aujero

"Amanda was one of my only friends starting high school and was there with me through family dinners, sleepovers, breakups, SAT's, and graduation. She was a light and such a beautiful person. We laughed so hard together that we would pee our pants. I miss her like crazy and plan on visiting her and talking to her for the rest of my life. She taught me to live with no regrets." -Mary Skrzypczak

"One thing I loved about Amanda was that she had such an open-mindedness I could tell her anything with no judgements." -Avery Zulauf

"My favorite memory of Amanda is us driving down the main road in LBI and laughing our asses off. I have known Amanda for years but her last 2 1/2 years on earth, I feel as if we got the closer we had ever been and I'm internally grateful for that. I love you Amanda." -Catie Keating

"There's a billion amazing words I could use that perfectly describe Amanda, but the one that I think differentiates her from most people is "real". She was real. That girl was truly one of a kind; irreplaceable. I knew from a young age when we became friends in elementary school that I could lose all of my friends but if I only had her I would be okay. It even felt that way at times but she and I were happy having just each other. One of my favorite memories with her was when I moved to Florida to start my freshmen year in high school. We were both upset we weren't experiencing high school together and we promised that we would never stop being best friends. I was scared starting at a school in a new state and not knowing anyone, and you know what Amanda did? For the first week or so before I made friends she would FaceTime me at lunch everyday so I wouldn't eat alone. Now that's true friendship right there. When I moved back it was like I never left. I always thought of her as a sister who just happened to be my best friend too. If you learn one thing from this it's that everyone should have an Amanda in their life. And if you don't, then don't settle because if you have that relationship with someone it outweighs having hundreds of friends. Having that special relationship with someone regardless if you're both here or not will never die. It lives on and it's something that I will cherish forever." -Selena Gonzalez

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7 Ways Sisterhood Is More Than Instagram Posts

There is a sisterhood behind the lens.
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Being in a sorority is fun. There's Bid Day, Big/Little Reveal, Philanthropy events, socials, formals, recruitment and fundraising events. There is always a chance for an Instagram moment. There is always a camera waiting for the right moment.

I have had many Instagram worthy sorority moments. The posed laughter, the Big/Little family pic, the sorority squat. Name one, I probably have a photo of it. But that is not all I have received from my sisters. It is so much more than just taking photos and "pretending" we like each other.

1. My sisters have empowered me.

I have broken out of my shell in college. I have taken chances I normally would be to shy to take. I have grown into a whole different woman than I was my freshman year of college.


2. My sisters have given me a chance.

They saw potential in me as a strong member in their chapter. They believed I would represent their sisterhood the best I could. They gave me my first set of letters and I have worn my letters on my heart every day since.


3. My sisters have given me opportunities.

I have the chance to change lives through philanthropy. I have a network of sisters from all walks of life. I have been able to travel and become a leader in my community.

4. My sisters have given me all different friendships.

I meet girls from all types of fields and backgrounds. I wouldn't have crossed paths with them if it weren't for my sorority. I would've missed out on some spectacular women without this sisterhood.

5. My sisters have not let me take on life alone.

At my lowest moments, I have always found a sister who would be there for me. I've had a shoulder to cry on, an ear who would listen and a hand to hold if I felt alone.

6. My sisters have reminded me that I am just one person.

I know, right?! How can I forget something so basic? I have put so much pressure on myself to be perfect and super-human, but my sisters have forgiven my mistakes and cut me slack when I've been pushing myself too much. They love me for who I am and understand the rocky road of college.

7. My sisters have been so supportive through it all.

I have built so many memories and experienced so much with this beautiful group of ladies. They know I will conquer my obstacles and they will always be on the sidelines for me.

Being one of the older members, I have found myself in the position to be there for my new sisters. I want to show them the experience behind the Instagram post. I am more than an Instagram photo and so is my sisterhood. I adore the women that share my letters.



Cover Image Credit: Jennifer Wunder

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