Looking Back on Freshman Year

Looking Back on Freshman Year

As I look back on who I was before college and who I am now, I can honestly say that I am proud of who I have become and cannot wait to see what the future holds for me.
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This time last year I was a senior in high school and getting ready to graduate. College seemed like a far away land, and while I was excited about the adventure I was going to take, I didn’t want to rush out of senior year. I was spending time every day with my best friends, hanging out in the art room instead of gym class, and trying to calculate who everyone in my grade had for senior assassin. My life was pretty care free but little did I know that life was going to start moving at a pace ten times as faster that it had before.

As August rolled around I was getting ready to move into my freshman dorm room. I was able to move in early for a retreat called FIRST and I was super excited, but I was also sad at the same time because I was the first of my friends to leave home.

On August 15th I moved into my dorm room and decorated it to my liking. It was sad saying goodbye to my parents and younger brother, however I was excited to spend the week at the campus lake house for the retreat. Little did I know I would meet some of my best friends during this one week.

The retreat was a blast and I didn’t want it to end. We did many service projects that really brought the Jesuit values of my university to life. I made so many great friends and couldn’t wait to hang out with them on campus.

After the first week of classes I realized that I knew nothing about college and what I wanted to do with my life. I ended up changing my major from Forensic Chemistry to Criminal Justice and was super excited about the path I was on. I also joined the Mock Trial club which I was extremely excited about.

I quickly made more friends than the ones I made on the retreat, two of which lived in my hall. Their room quickly became my room too because I would always hang out in there. My best friends from the retreat also became friends with the girls in my hall and the five of us hang out all the time. We are practically inseparable.

The classes I was taking in the first semester were much more difficult than I thought they would be. Mock Trial was also taking up a ton of my time and energy with all the effort I had to put into learning the case and getting ready for competitions. I also had two jobs on campus that took up a lot of my time. It was hard for me to find a balance and because of this my grades weren’t what I wanted them to be by the end of the semester.

Before I knew it, it was time to go home for winter break. I was so excited to spend time with my family and friends, make some money, and relax! Winter break lasted almost two months and by the end I was ready to go back because I missed my friends so much. It’s weird going home and not living with your best friends like in the dorms.

Finally, its second semester! My classes are going good and I am so happy to be back with my best friends. We are hanging out more often than ever before and I am happier than I have ever been!

So many things are happening and I got so caught up in it all. I had to figure out who I am rooming with, where I am going to live next year, what classes I need to take, and so many other things!

I figured out my classes for next year pretty quickly but had no idea who I was going to live with and where. Sophomore housing is quad style and my friend group was made up of five people. The two girls from my hall are rooming with each other again and going random with quadmates. I am going to be quading with my friends from the retreat but we need one more person. We were asking around for weeks until we found someone! I didn’t know her at first but she soon became a part of my friend group and now I’ve decided to room with her. My friends and I also got the nicest sophomore dorm on campus and we are thrilled!

The second semester of my freshman year sped by. Now I am finishing up finals and packing up my dorm room. I have grown so much as a person this past year and have made lifelong friends. Sure I have had my ups and downs but I made it through and wouldn’t have traded my experience for the world. I was able to work at two amazing campus jobs, compete at Penn State for mock trial, start writing for Odyssey, and even get to be on the planning board for the events on campus next year.

As I look back on who I was before college and who I am now, I can honestly say that I am proud of who I have become and cannot wait to see what the future holds for me.


Cover Image Credit: https://s3.amazonaws.com/rm3.backgrounds.prod.readmedia.com/brandings/4517/desktop/MERIT_background_image.jpg?2016

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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My First Year Of College Wasn’t Great And That’s Okay

I didn’t adjust as well as I thought I would, but I made it.

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Everyone always raves about how much they loved their freshman year of college. The independence, the parties, meeting all these new people from different places. It's a big milestone in your life. But not everyone has an amazing first year. And I'm one of those people.

Don't get me wrong. I was so excited about college. Finally getting to be on my own, experiencing all these new things. I even met people in my class before we moved in. And the first month was a blast...but then it wasn't anymore.

Eventually, I slid into this “funk", you could say. I was depressed. I never wanted to leave my bed. Some nights, I didn't even wanna eat dinner. And soon, my friends noticed but soon just stopped inviting me out.

At first, they still would, even though the answer was always no. But I guess they got bored and tired of me always saying no.

Soon, I didn't feel like I even had any friends and at one point, I even found myself debating going home to avoid being alone in my room all weekend. I would force myself to make plans, but found myself not wanting to go out because I got ignored every time I did. It wasn't worth it.

I was homesick, isolated, and just wanted to fit in.

When the year finally came to an end, I couldn't be happier. But now that it is over and I'm home, I realize how much I miss the people that were there for me. The people that came into my life unexpectedly, but it was hard for me to really recognize they care about me.

I absolutely hated my freshman year of college. Yeah, it started out good and I found my sorority, but I never felt like I was wanted anywhere. I felt so alone. I became so incredibly isolated and distant and it took a drastic toll on me as a person.

But in spite of all that, I realize that maybe that's how it was supposed to happen. Because I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and it will all play out.

This being said, my first year might not have been what I thought or hoped for. But I can truly say I am excited to see what my next year holds.

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