This time, 2 years ago I was panicking about if my roommate would be weird, if I really needed that Brita water filler, if I should pack my fall sweaters or not, and whether or not I'd fit in at a new school in a new state. Freshman year was a presence that was growing larger by the day and I wasn't sure if I was actually ready.

The year in itself was fine, I had a decent Freshman year but I still didn't get that ~feeling~ about college. I wasn't sad about leaving, I was ready to come home for the summer and have a break. My roommate and I were inseparable but other than that I wasn't sure if I had found my people or my thing at college yet. Classes were okay, but I hadn't declared a major and I was essentially in a bunch of general classes that I needed to fulfill requirements. It wasn't that I had a bad time my freshman year, but I wouldn't call it the time of my life either.

Sophomore year was a complete 180. I knew where I was going around campus, I was finally in classes that I was intellectually stimulated by, I had met friends that turned into family, and I was a part of clubs and organizations that I was passionate about and held leadership positions in. Sophomore year was the year that I finally understood why people love college. I cried about leaving at the end of the year, as did all of my friends, and I felt like I was leaving my home at the end of the school year instead of leaving school to return to my actual home.

So now, here I am, 2 years older and halfway through college. The idea of being halfway done physically makes me want to vomit. I know it will fly by and that's absolutely terrifying. The real world is a place I fully do not want to enter. My world at college is a place that I would honestly like to live in forever. The independence is freeing yet the security of being not fully independent and alone is comforting.

I love being in an environment where I am finally surrounded by people that I never get tired of. I love being a part of things that inspire me and that it has brought me to people I wouldn't have met otherwise that I now can't imagine not knowing. All of the failures of freshman year have led me to the triumphs of sophomore year and I can't wait to see what the next two have in store. But I'd also really love to hit pause and stay right here because as each day passes, I am one day closer to the G word and I'd just really love to avoid that at all costs.

So how does it really feel being a junior? Safe, because I know the ins and the outs and how to successfully register for classes and all the shortcuts and the best time to get a coffee in the morning while avoiding a huge line. Exciting, because I get to return to my people and spend another 9 months doing dumb things with them. Terrifying, because I am one step closer to the real world. Overwhelming, because I still have no idea what I want to do with my life.

More than all of that, I feel a sense of urgency because I know that my time at school is limited and soon will run out and I'd like to make the rest of my days here count. I'd like to live a life that I'd like to relive.

Now that I've found my place, I never want to leave it.


Katie Coviello