This time 4 years ago I was anxiously scrolling through Pinterest trying to make sure I checked everything off on all of the college packing lists. I was taking daily trips to Target and TJ Maxx making sure I had the perfect bedding and decor. I was stalking my roommate on Instagram, hoping that she would be as normal as she came across online. I was saying goodbye to high school friends and my family, and getting ready for a brand new chapter in my life.
I was scared, excited, hopeful, inspired, and anxious. Though I watched my brother, older friends, and cousins do the whole "college thing", I had no idea how to do it on my own. Would I make friends? Would I get lost? Would I be homesick? Freshman year was pretty tough. Though I made great friends, loved (some) of my classes, and managed to find my way around campus, I found myself feeling lost at points and unhappy. I was rejected from almost every club or activity I tried to join. Sorority rush was horrendous for me. I wasn't sure if this was my place, as it had rejected me so many times. I was unhappy with my school and quite frankly with myself. I remember thinking that maybe I should look into transferring.
But, I stayed. I came back, joined new activities and organizations, made new friends, and finally, felt at home. And now, 4 years later, I couldn't imagine spending my time anywhere else. I am thankful for the hardships I endured freshman year because they motivated me to make a change, be more outgoing, and try again. Since then, I have made friends that feel like home, made an impact on my campus, and even tried out leadership roles (in all organizations I am apart of). I learned a lot about me too, like when I need to take time for myself or push myself to try new things. I learned to ask for help when I need it, whether from friends or teachers or counselors. I learned that it's okay to not have all the answers or to feel overwhelmed. I learned how to stand up for myself.
So this summer, though I am not anxiously packing up to move into my tiny shoebox dorm and enter a whole new world, I am anxiously preparing for a lot of lasts. I'm scared, excited, hopeful, inspired, and anxious all over again. I am sad. So, so sad to know that my time is almost up, that many of my friends have gone and graduated already, and that soon Villanova will not be my current home. But I am so happy because all of these things mean that I have found a place that is special, people that are even more so, and experiences that have truly shaped who I am today.