After enjoying over a month of relaxation and minor responsibilities, I was unsure how I felt about heading back to West Chester to start my second semester. I had conflicting emotions— on one hand, I was extremely excited to venture back to the beautiful campus and rekindle with all of my new friends. But on the other hand, it still did not come easy packing up for the second time and saying goodbye to my home again.

I felt anxious about the start of new classes, the sight of unfamiliar faces, and all of the school work I would be challenged with while taking three more credits than I took the first semester. But luckily, all of my worries quickly subsided and the second semester has been a breeze! I am thrilled to be back and I am constantly eager to learn new things and endure new experiences. I have to say this semester has already trumped my first semester as it has been easier for me in a multitude of ways and has also taught me numerous valuable lessons.

First and foremost, being completely familiarized with both the campus and the town makes a significant difference. When I began school in August on unfamiliar grounds, it was utterly nerve-wracking. But now, after returning from winter break, it has come as a relief to know exactly where everything is.

I already know where to get the best food, where to hang out with my friends, and where the perfect places are to study. There is no more need to adjust and for that reason, I am already enjoying my time here this semester, more than the last. Being familiarized with the campus and the beautiful town of West Chester has made me even more grateful to be a student here.

Secondly, I feel notably more social this semester. I find myself branching out and putting forth more of an effort to make new friends. Talking to new people is coming more naturally and I am truly thankful for all of the people I have had the opportunity to meet thus far. This semester has been a great mix of meeting new people but also spending time with the friends I had made at the beginning of the school year. I am excited to meet even more people as the rest of the semester carries on. Always having someone to hangout out with not only makes the time here go by faster but also makes it much more enjoyable.

Next, college courses can be a huge stress to students and while I have had a heavier workload of assignments, I have also improved my time management. This has cut down on the time I spend studying and given me more free time. Last semester I would put forth tireless hours writing and rewriting my bio notes, but so far none of my other classes have required the same level of preparation for exams. This has alleviated stress and allowed me to focus on getting more out of my experience at West Chester, beyond the academics.

Lastly, with this newfound free time I have experienced, I have been more willing and able to get involved. All throughout my life, I have struggled to find my place through extracurriculars, and I have always found it challenging to find things I am truly passionate about. But this semester, I have been making a serious effort to turn that around.

Since I have had much more free time on my hands, I have become a member of the psychology club and now, a creator for the Odyssey. I plan on exploring other interests as well, in order to find my place here at West Chester University. This determination alone, has already made my second semester even better than expected.

So far, my second semester has taught me a plethora of valuable lessons. Most importantly, I have learned to step out of my comfort zone and successfully budget my time. This semester has already exceeded the last and I can't wait to see what the rest of the school year has in store for me.