Revolutionary—that is how I would describe my second year at Northeastern.
People always reflect about their freshmen year—after all, it's the first year of college! However, for me, I feel as though my freshman year cannot compare to what I've learned and gone through in my sophomore year. To begin with, I finally gained the courage to change my major, and actively started to follow the path that I wanted to. I also accepted my first co-op, which to me, feels like the first step in figuring out what I want to do with my life. Most importantly, I've gained such important people in my life who have shown my unending support and love in all that I do.
There were lots of ups and downs this year as I've had to confront parts of my past I never wanted to this year that made me so uncomfortable. Nevertheless, the process has given me much needed peace, which, in turn, has made me more confident. Not only that, I've had to evaluate myself and my own shortcomings, and in the process, have gained a great confidant whom I can rely on. Having difficult conversations has only solidified the relationships I have with people, and improved my own internal and external perspective.
Furthermore, being parts of groups such as the Korean American Student Association or the Pan Asian American Council have helped my develop my identity as an Asian American women. Coming from neighbourhoods where Asian culture was so strong, I always felt like I belonged; however, when I came to college, the feeling was replaced with dissonance. Having conversations about Asian American identity with people who felt the same way became a support system I didn't think I needed.
As I look back at my journal entries and photos, it feels like I did both nothing and everything. If I compare myself right now to the beginning of the year, I feel so different; I feel more prepared to face the world. I used to be so dramatic about everything, yet when I try to recall what occasion or person evoked such feelings, I cannot seem to remember the reason. Hopefully, such a reflection will help me to be more level-headed going forward (haha).
This year was also a time for me to tidy up the mess I made during freshman year. People have gone and come out of my life, but the toxic air I left freshman year with has now cleared up. My emotional volatility was no secret, but now, I feel like a noble gas, or something—a lot more stable. Surrounding yourself with good people and shifting your perspective will do that to ya (lol)!
I also started my writing journey by becoming a contributing author for the Odyssey. Although I haven't been the most consistent in posting articles, it was the first time I'd ever created work for the public to read, and that, in itself, has been a wonderful experience. I think as the semester comes to an end, it's also time for me to find different avenues of expressing myself, so I am both sad and content to say that this will be my last article on this platform.
In any case, I am thankful for all the experiences and people I've encountered. Whether such encounters turned into wonderful friendships or were simply left at conversations, they've all impacted me in ways that have allowed me to mature more and become a "better" person. I'm glad I can end sophomore year with content.