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.


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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Cancel Culture Is Toxic And Ugly

Stop deciding for me who I can and cannot like.

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I was really hoping that canceled culture died in 2018, but unfortunately here we are in 2019 still "canceling" whoever we personally deem "problematic." Whether it's tweeting from six years ago or falsely made allegations, waves of people will grab on to anything they can to bring down whatever celebrity or influencer seems to be doing well at the moment.

Of course, it is important to bring light to horrible things such as racism, misogyny, domestic abuse, etc., but remember these horrible things are still happening TODAY. We need to focus our energy on combating the horrible things people are currently doing and saying; it is truly such a waste of time to bring up the problematic words and actions that someone in the limelight did almost a decade ago.

Let me be clear, there is no one person I am trying to defend here. I honestly don't care much to personally defend anyone who is being canceled by angry twitter-users who found something just bad enough to hold against them for eternity. I truly just find the idea of it annoying and ugly.

The idea that any person is a completely static, flat character is so inconceivable and unlikely that I truly have a hard time understanding why we cannot accept an apology from a matured person.

If we have no evidence that a person has made any recent damaging remarks, then how can we prove they haven't changed since they tweeted something wrong in 2013?

Of course, there are people who have recently or continuously proven they are indecent people who are not deserving of any sort of public exposure, but if they are truly so horrible, people will drop them without you having to tell them to do so. You don't have to condemn those who still remain loyal; they are probably not the kind of people you need to waste your time on anyway.

If the people canceling others were constantly watched like the people they have damned, I am absolutely sure there is something we could find from their past to cancel them as well.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that famous people are still human beings just like us. Anyone is prone to make mistakes, and those mistakes can absolutely be rectified over time.

Nowadays, people love jumping on the bandwagon of finding a new person to hate and don't even stop to think about the damage it could do to that person's life and reputation.

Give people a chance to prove that they are decent human beings before deciding whether "we" as a whole should love or hate them based on such a small amount of evidence.

I am not saying you have to love every celebrity. If you don't like what someone has said or done you absolutely do not have to give them your attention or devotion, but you should not tell me whether I can like them or not.

In 2019 we should put an end to canceled culture, and, instead, learn to take people at their word and accept their apologies for their past wrongdoings.

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