Freshman year, everything was new and exciting. Finding out who you are away from home, meeting people from all over the country, and having no parental supervision for the first time. The feeling that you could meet somebody at any minute and change your life was a stimulating feeling. When all the new things began to fade away, and classes got hard, freshman year was a learning experience like none other.
Then Sophomore year punched me in the face.
Bills, budgeting, relationships, roommates, classes, turning twenty, and everything in between pushed me to my absolute limit.
Sophomore year was the first glimpse at adulthood. You have more freedom than Freshman year thanks to no Residental Advisor, but have fears of leaving your lights on because you pay for electricity or sleeping alone in the house when your roommates leave. You learn more about the way the world works in these ten short months.
I learned to step out of my comfort zone.
After Freshman year, I realized I wasn't involved in clubs or activities. I tried out for clubs I didn't make and got into some that introduced me to my best friends. Sophomore year is a great time to join a club. While Freshman year has a lot of aspects to adjust to, Sophomore year gives you two more years in a club that you enjoy, and you can become close with older and younger people because you resemble the "middle child" in college. Try something new and take advantage of what your school has to offer before it's too late.
I learned to be more responsible.
After a long day of classes, it was easy to become lazy and roll through Chick-Fil-A's drive-thru. Sadly, I had to have the "we have food at home" talk with myself because of the bills and rent I needed to save money for. So, turning off my lights and cleaning my dishes without my mother constantly nagging me was my self - accomplishment for the week.
I learned to open up.
I have always been an extrovert, but I had a hard time letting people in. I have become so accustomed to being independent that I never allowed anybody into my weird world. I dated during my sophomore year and it was one of the best things I did during this school year. Not only relationships but my friendships got better as well. I learned to stand my ground for things I didn't like, listen to understand not just listening to respond, and how to say "yes" more instead of watching Netflix in my bed.
I learned that health is always the top priority.
Taking 18 credits spring semester was my first mistake. Being on campus and in class from 9 to 8 every day took a toll on my body. Especially since I couldn't say no to a Wednesday night party or 2 a.m. run to Cookout. You have to take care of your body. Take an hour a day to sit outside, eat a good meal, or make a small workout routine just to burn some calories.
As I begin the summer before my Junior year of college, I can safely say that Sophomore has been my favorite year so far. All I can do moving forward is continue to grow while making mistakes along the way.