Yes, I'm About To Start The Second Half Of College, And No, I'm Not OK

Yes, I'm About To Start The Second Half Of College, And No, I'm Not OK

I honestly don't understand how I'm just as close to finishing as I am to beginning.

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Time is weird. It seems so slow while you live through it, but then, when you look back, it's like you blinked and years passed. I still don't understand how that happens. My most recent experience with this has been packing my bags to move back to college. I'm about to start my third year and I'm so not ready for it — not because I don't want to go back to school, but because I don't want to be a third year.

I love UVA. I love Grounds. I love basketball games and late night Cookout runs with my friends and the way the library smells and curling up in the window seats in the building where I have most of my classes on a rainy day. I love living with seven of my best friends and having more live just across the street. I love my church and my classes and the city itself. The more I think about the fact that I'm halfway done with this experience, the more I realize that I'm not ready for it to end. Sure, better things are probably coming, but I'm not sure I'm going to be prepared to leave my second home when the time comes.

All of a sudden, I'm flooded with panicky questions: what do I want to do with my life? Where do I want to live after graduation? Do I want to try and go to graduate school? Should I stay at UVA an extra year and get my masters? What am I going to do? Because, unfortunately for me, I'm no longer a second year thinking to myself "heck, those are questions for third years to worry about." Instead, I'm a third year thinking "HECK. Those are things I need to be worrying about." And I'm stressed out.

"Adult-y" questions are now something I have to deal with too. What kind of job do I want? What do I need to be doing now to prepare myself? Should I have taken on an internship this summer? Should I be getting a college job so that I have some money saved up for when I do graduate and go to real life? All of these things and more take over my thoughts when I'm not paying attention.

And then, the biggest issue of all, several of my friends are going into their last year of college and I'm just over here wondering "how am I going to do this without them? How can I not live with them anymore, these people who have been my second family?"

I'm sad to be going into my third year. I know that big things, good things are ahead of me, but I have some pretty good things right now. It seems bizarre to me that when I tell my kids "when I was in college" stories, I'll be telling them about right now, about this time that is slipping away so fast in a haze of happy memories and schoolwork. So this year, on top of doing my work diligently and hanging out with friends frequently, I'm going to remind myself to savor the little quiet moments that don't mean a lot until you look back on them — when my favorite tree on Grounds turns orange in the fall, or the rain makes my window seat the perfect amount of cozy, or our friend squad decides to have an impromptu s'mores night — because going to my third year has made me realize that those moments are some of the most important and that, while they come frequently, they go quickly.

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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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