Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Freshman Year Reflection

My freshman year of college has come and gone, and I’m settling in for a fun summer at home. But I wanted to take some time to reflect on my year and all the lessons that I have learned as well as all the amazing things that have happened. I’m writing this post mostly as a personal reflection, but I hope you all will read along. 

    Academically Wake Forest challenged me like nothing I had ever encountered before. I was forced to completely rethink how I study. I spent long hours in the library trying to keep up and learn how to get all the work done. It was definitely a learning curve. Though I am by no means doing poorly, I wasn’t and still am not getting the grades that I desire. I know there is still a lot of work ahead of me academically and I think as I finally start taking classes that fit my interests things will begin to fall into place. 

    Going along with that I decided that I no longer want to be a political science major. This was probably one of the most reassuring decisions I made despite my academic struggles at Wake. After taking political science classes I realized it is simply not where my passion lies. I was scared when I had this realization as I felt that I had failed, that I wasn’t good enough. But I just had to think about following what I care about it. There is no sense in spending 3 more years pursuing something I’m not passionate about. I’m looking forward to exploring some communications classes next year, as currently, that’s my intended major. 

    So, all and all, academically I’m still putting the pieces together and trying to discover exactly what I am passionate about and how to find success in an academically rigorous school like Wake Forest. 

    My freshman year led me to some of the best most supportive people I could ever imagine. I have an incredible best friend that I know I can count on for anything. She’s always been there for me, through the struggles and the smiles. And a whole bunch of other close friends that I know I can rely on. I feel so much more confident just knowing that I have these loving and supportive people always in my corner.

    But I also learned some hard lessons about what it takes to maintain a healthy friendship. My best friend and I struggled, I was used by a “friend”, and I spent nights alone that I would have much rather spent with friends. I learned that in order for friendships to work for me, I have to have time to myself. I’m an introverted person, and I found sometimes I was over socializing myself and just needed to say no and go watch some Netflix. And most importantly friendship is a two-way street and if you ever find yourself putting in all the effort then that is not a healthy relationship. Don’t put time and effort into anyone who wouldn’t do the same for you.

    This year, I discovered what it means to be there for people. How sometimes you have to sacrifice to help a friend. When a friend’s boyfriend breaks up with her, you need to go over to her room and help make her feel better even if you were already in bed. When a friend needs a listening ear you better pick up that phone. Because when you’re the one hurting from a broken heart, you’re going to want her to do the same for you. 

    Welp this is something that I would rather not have had to write about in this post but hey such is life sometimes. I had my heartbroken twice, and while it was painful it taught me so much. I knew the first guy wanted a girlfriend so badly, but in his eyes, I still wasn't good enough. It killed my self-esteem, but it taught me that sometimes what you think is right isn’t actually what is right for you.  The second heartbreak was 100x more difficult because I really fell for the second guy and he fooled me into thinking he liked me too. Well, I guess that’s when I learned the next most important lesson that college and life is more than boys. And that your life is about you and making the most out of everyday, and simply having faith that everything else will begin to fall into place in due time. 

But even though these guys hurt me, still so many of my favorite memories were spent with them and my freshman year wouldn't be the year that it was without them. They are genuinely great guys and I wish them nothing but happiness. They taught me so much about myself but also about how to deal with the pain of a broken heart. 

    While at school I never really felt homesick. I missed my parents and my sister, but I never yearned to be home. I actually more often times cried when I had to leave school. I created a second home at school and fell more and more in love with Wake every single day. And as a result, I actually developed a much greater appreciation for my hometown when I went to school. When I came home for breaks I was excited to explore my hometown and to go back and spend time with my family. I fell in love with a place that I had once previously been so ready to leave, and for that, I will be forever thankful. 

    My first semester, I struggled because I joined clubs but I never really felt like I was fitting in. I had a great time and did a lot of fun activities, but I was never fully content. Once, I joined my sorority I finally felt like I had found my place on campus. I had a group of people that love and supported me, and I always had opportunities to do fun new things. Sorority rush was one of the most difficult things that I went through this year but ultimately it was the most rewarding. 

    I have absolutely loved being a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. I love the ritual and tradition that connect me to people all over the country and from the past. I love the sisterhood that has introduced me to some of the kindest people and brought me, great friends. I love the academic support that I get from my sisters and that I am encouraged by every week with study hours. I love the opportunities for leadership that have arisen just within my first semester of being a member. But overall I love the support and encouragement that I receive from my sisters no matter what. 

In conclusion, this year was the best year of my life. I learned a lot and I had a lot of fun doing it. I wouldn’t trade anything for the memories that I made and I can’t wait to head back in August. Here’s to what is shaping up to be the best 4 years of my life. 

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