As hard as it is to believe, I am done with my sophomore year of college. Going into this year, I never expected what came out of it to actually happen. This year, I was tested, but in the midst, still ended up having an amazing time with some pretty incredible people. I wrote this to reflect back on an amazing year and express my excitement for my junior year. Enjoy!

This was the year that I finally found my place.

For years, even in my own family, I have felt that I was the "ugly duckling that would never turn into a swan." This year changed that. I discovered that I was someone worth it, and also found my own standards to achieve.

This was the year that I found my beauty.

Beauty truly does come from within, but I feel even more comfortable when I wear a little bit of makeup. Maybe it is finding my inner feminine voice, maybe it is just a subtle change to some, but it has done wonders for me. Seeing that I am capable of looking "pretty" has changed my life. While I do believe that beauty comes from within, I definitely do not judge myself when I make a contour look fire AF.

This was the year that I found my voice.

I am a lot of things, but above all, I am an activist. And you know what? I think it is pretty damn cool. I don't march or post things on Facebook for attention, I do it because I want to enact change in this majorly messed up world.

This was the year that I found my love of literature.

I actually enjoy reading assigned texts in class. Granted, some I enjoy more than others, but that is beside the fact, I love reading, and spending hours cooped up in a library is actually not terrible. I have a thirst for knowledge, and I don't know if it will ever be fully quenched.

This was the year I stopped letting others define me.

Yes, this includes my friends, and it definitely includes my family. My name is nothing more than that: a name. Why should I have let something so arbitrary define me in the past? It's stupid, and in realizing that, I found things that I like about myself.

This was the year I became independent

There is an expression used commonly in my generation. To quote, "I don't need no man." It is so true. Rather than pining for something to happen, I just started to let life run its destined course. In the process, I found that I am capable of doing things with or without a man by my side. Patriarchy? Smash it.

This was the year I found myself.

As cliche as it may be, I found myself in the process of finding out all of the other things about my life. Life can be tricky sometimes, but it's finding my inner me that will lead me to my future. Kinda cool if you ask me.

Thank you, sophomore year, for the memories. I can't wait to return to campus to do it all again this fall.