As the semester is coming to an end, I can't help but think of home. I mean, you know, my other home. I've had the privilege of meeting my best friend here at college, and so many wonderful people that I share something special with, people who I refer to as my family. Being so close to the finish line of this first year, I can't help but wonder how my other family is doing: my best friends from high school, my parents, my younger brother who is about to go to high school next year. Facetimes are just not enough to truly know what's going on in their lives. When preparing for this endless sea of midterms and finals, wave after wave, sometimes being lucky enough to ride the wave, and other times simply crashing head-first into a storm, I love to think of the little things. The little things that make me happy. My favorite memories: both at home and in college.

Little things like curling up next to my dad in a warm, cozy blanket watching the latest TV show on Netflix, talking about anything and everything that has been going on in both of our lives, playing scrabble, going on long walks, and just the fact that my heart is happy when I am around him.

Little things like my dad singing my favorite old song time and time again, my mom coming home with the widest smile and telling me all about her day, (trying to) learn how to cook (for the hundredth time) my favorite dish from my mom in the kitchen, my brother never failing to sass me (which I wholeheartedly believe is his personal form of love).

Little things like seeing my best friends after what seems like a millenia and giving them an eternal hug. Little things like spending time with my best friends, doing literally anything, and wondering every single time where the time goes.

They say no matter where you are, it is always bittersweet because you always miss the other thing. I remember even during spring break, after the first few days I couldn't wait to get back just to see my college family again. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we live so close to our college friends, that we are invested in their lives from the time they wake up to the time they sleep, day in and day out. I connected to my roommate, who is now my best friend, in the matter of days. It's a truly special bond and you know when it's right that it's right, no questions asked. I met so many individuals, who are truly gems of people, and I have become a better person because of each and every one of them. I remember the late night 3AM conversations and impromptu singing, the first time I ever saw my roommate in person, things that I wouldn't think would stay with me but did because they made me smile or laugh.

As I am approaching finals, I constantly try to revert to these beautiful memories that I have had the fortune to share with my friends and family. Each and every one of us have these positive moments, moments that make us feel such strong emotions that we often can't describe why we are so moved by them. If I can give one piece of advice during this final stretch of the semester, I'll say find those times to keep making memories and find your happy moments. They'll give you strength in the middle of what seems like never-ending weeks of exams, papers, projects, and challenges.