A Testament To Myself In My Last Week Of Freshman Year

A Testament To Myself In My Last Week Of Freshman Year

I really grew up during my freshman year.
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If you had asked me if I was ready to come home from college on August 31st of 2017, I would have said absolutely. However, if you had asked me that same question on September 1st of 2017, not even 24 hours later, I would have happily told you that my mind had forever changed.

Coming to college was a very difficult obstacle for me, as I am sure it is for numerous freshman. I was scared to be leaving my family, my friends, and everything I had become familiar with growing up in the same house, the same school, and with the same people since childhood. The weeks leading up to move-in day were filled with tears, animosity, and fear.

To begin, I was convinced that the University I was attending was not right for me. While everyone else in my life told me that the University of Delaware was the school they thought I was meant to attend, I couldn't help but feel uneasy and lost because in my mind it was far from where I wanted to be. I had a specific image in my head that I should be attending James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. In my mind, I was a Duke, certainly not a Blue Hen.

I struggled a lot with the thought of not being able to attend my first choice college especially having had a particularly rough senior year of high school. After dealing with the death of a friend, a breakup, a friend group split, various mental health issues, and tremendously tough academic year, I felt that this was just the icing on the cake for me.

I felt trapped in a situation that I could not control and with no one around me who truly understood the feelings I had. However, it took me less than 24 hours after arriving on campus to realize that I needed to have an open mind and everything was going to turn out alright for me for the long haul.

I learned many things about myself upon attending the University of Delaware. For starters, I realized that I was, in fact, proud to be a Blue Hen. I realized that college is not about the university you attend, rather about the new friends you encounter, the numerous memories you will make, the opportunities you are given, and the actions you take to change the community around you.

I also learned that there is no better feeling than walking through campus, seeing the livelihood and camaraderie of fellow students, taking in the beauty and realizing the prosperity around you. It is truly amazing to understanding the genuine feeling of being happy in an environment where you though happiness would never exist.

It amazes me to see the new person I have become since attending the University of Delaware. I have grown as an individual, and benefitted from the multitude of opportunities the community around me offers. I have accomplished so many personal goals as well as academic goals that I set for myself in the beginning of the year.

I have found a career path that I am passionate for, I am an active leader in my residence hall, I have excelled academically and made the Dean's List, I am a member of the University of Delaware Swim Club, I have grown and become stronger in my faith, and most importantly I have found pure happiness that I did not foresee leading up to college. I am proud of who I have become, and I hold such pride in my school that I now understand that I do not want to be anywhere else but Delaware.

As the days are dwindling down, I cannot help but find myself reminiscing on the many wonders freshman year has thrown my way. I have overcome, explored, and accomplished many things I never thought possible. I have made countless memories and friendships that I will cherish for a lifetime.

I am surprised to see that I am deeply saddened at the thought of returning home for the summer. While I am more than thrilled to be back with my family and friends at home, I will miss the University of Delaware more than I can possibly explain. I will miss the late nights spent in the library studying for exams, the early morning coffee runs spent with my friends before classes, the constant laughter I have shared with my floor mates, the familial bond I have made with my roommate, and the never ending outpouring of love and adventure that is the University of Delaware.

When I look back on the feelings of uncertainty, fear, and heartbreak that I had after deciding to come to the University of Delaware, I happy and proud to see how much I have grown. It is funny to see how last August I was crying because I didn't want to be at the University of Delaware, and now I am crying because I can't picture myself anywhere else. It is almost scary how fast my freshman year passed by (in my head I am still convinced September was last week), but I am more than excited to take on the next three years as a proud Blue Hen and continue my many adventures at the best place on earth.

Cover Image Credit: Theresa Manganiello

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Five Tips to Get on Top of Your 2019: Tech Editions

Yeah, there's an app for that.

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Technology is the course of the future, why not use it to get on top of your new year? Make 2019 the year you stop sleeping on these great productivity apps and get grinding! Best part, all the apps I've included here are free.

Google Calendar.

Look at that beauty.

I LOVE Google Calendar! Not only is it a great tool to map out your week, it comes with cool features. You can color code tasks and events, get text reminders and so much more. You can even sync your calendar with other people's (this is very helpful for roommates or study buddies).

Google Doc File Folders

Crying.

Sick of that long list of documents in your Google Docs? You can make file folders to organize all of your docs!

Momentum Chrome Extension

This is by far my favorite productivity app. It's a Chrome extension that acts as a home page whenever you open a new window or tab. It comes complete with the weather, a motivational quote and a to-do list! The best feature is their "main focus for the day". It keeps you grounded for sure- especially when it pops up with every tab and forces you to think about all you need to accomplish.

Wunderlist

This is a to-do list on steroids- definitely worth checking out!

Todist

A to-do list app for your phone! I love this just to organize what my top priorities are.

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