Since the end of the year is upon us, I thought I would reflect on the lessons this first year has taught me.

It hasn't been easy.

Living 11 hours away from all of your family, friends, and practically everything you know is scary at first, but I am stronger because of it. College taught me that if you ever feel alone and stressed or like you have a million things to do because someone will always be there.

You can count on the people closest to you, but you can also count on yourself. You have made it this far without breaking and you have proven that being alone isn't that scary. You are independent.

College also taught me what it means to be a good friend. Not just because of boy drama or late nights holding someone's hair, but because the friends here are the ones you keep for life.

They aren't the friends you were born with, but they are the ones you connected with. Why else would you make a friend in college other than the fact that you click with them?

You have been through so much together in just this short amount of time. Imagine what trouble you will get in next year. That being said I never knew how to completely be there for someone until college.

So next time you need some Doritos or a punch at Ehall because you used all of them, ask me. I've got your back.

College taught me the importance of hard work. I mean in high school you can kind of just scrape by on sheer luck, but here you have to work. The deadlines for that 10-page paper make you work hard.

The teacher doesn't tell you when to do it or how. You have to figure that out on your own. Sure, you can wait until the last minute, but your grade will suffer for it.

Hard work and dedication to getting that assignment done on time is what is most important in college, something I did not realize until I had 3 projects, 2 presentations, and 2 lab reports all due in a week. But that is what it takes to be successful and I am a better person for it.