Junior Year Reflection

Year 3 of college is in the books!

College has consisted of me starting, blinking, and realizing I've completed my third year.

This by far has been the quickest year of school with each quarter going by faster and faster. Each week slips away. I have no idea how this is possible. My little sister has completed her first year of college. I'm still reveling in that idea. WHAT?!

As I reflect, I'm beginning to realize that I keep asking myself: how is this possible? How, just how? How have I moved away from home, turned 21, made new friends and lost some old ones? How have I become more "me" all in a mere three years? How has all of this time passed so quickly?

I'm starting to think about where I'm going to live, what kind of job I want to get after I graduate, where I want to travel to...all while focusing on classes and making memories with my friends when we're all here together in this special moment, trying to hold on to something really, really good. I love all of these people and this place, and to think it will all be gone (that's a hyperbole, but you know what I mean) in one short year is absolutely frightening; we will all move on to bigger and better pursuits. It is for the best, but I cannot help myself from reminiscing.

Nostalgia. Nostalgia perfectly describes junior year.

It was my third go with everything this year; third time starting classes on a random Wednesday at the end of September while every other university was deep in midterms; third time going tailgating and cheering at football games in our beautiful stadium; third time sitting in the quad and watching the cherry blossoms bloom.

I'd find myself thinking back and telling friends "this is what I did winter quarter freshman year". I remember taking that class or going to that club meeting. And as an upperclassman, it was my turn to impart my two years of wisdom on freshman and sophomore friends (which is absolutely disturbing because I'm completely winging it, well not completely, but it feels like it). 

One thing I am confident about is that there are so many opportunities for the future. However, I simultaneously feel like I know what I want to do and then no idea at all. It's a constant conflict.  

And the future is very very near; it's the thing you dreamed of as a kid (being an adult and independent, etc.) and it's the scariest thing for it to be on the doorstep now.

Times are changing, but change is good. It's more of a dramatic shift. I've been thrown into more situations dealing with change. The fast pace makes it scarier than it truly is. 

Gina beginning college was one of these "scary" moments. It was surreal to have her in college. It's weird for yourself but when someone younger starts that's when you realize how much time has passed.

And time goes so quickly, much faster than we'd like, but one of the beautiful aspects about reflections like these is taking note about how much you have grown; grown in your abilities but mostly as a person overall.

I think back to the first day of my freshman year, very very naive. But rightfully so. I was fresh faced and ready to take on college, little did i know there would be twists and turns with every single step. If someone ever tells you college was easy, then they weren't doing it right. College is difficult physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and more, but it is supposed to be.

I've grown up so much. I mean I could kind of cook, but living on your own really forces you to take into account what you're eating. Paying rent is now normal (unfortunately, defintely took those days at home rent free for granted) taking care of myself, making my own decisions. One of the main reasons I wanted to go out of state was to become more independent and really push myself out of my comfort zone.

I've become more open minded, more patient (somewhat, still working on this) respectful and appreciative. I've been exposed to so many different people with unique backgrounds, and realized how ignorant I was, but most importantly how much I have to learn.

Another tidbit I have learned is how fast it all goes. I wish I had been told this or grasped the concept sooner. It just goes so so fast. Cherish every single second, even the really bad ones, you'll look back and laugh about it or realize how far you've come.

And take every opportunity because you won't regret it. You'll regret everything you didn't do. You'll remember the times you stepped out of your comfort zone and tried something new.

So that's where I'm at ending my junior year of college: nostalgic yet optimistic.

Here's to making the most of my senior year!