Thursday, May 3, 2012

Final Thoughts

By the end of this week, my freshman year of college will be over. I can't even believe it. It feels so surreal. In these past 8 months, I seen myself change a lot. I've experienced the best days of my life and some of the worst days of my life all in the span of a school year. I know for a fact I'm not the same person I was before I got here. In my first blog post I made some observations about college life. Here are my concluding 8, written by a wise almost-sophomore.

1. The people who were your friends in the Fall might not be your friends in the Spring
In a college environment, you're forced to make friends quickly. When you don't know anyone you immediately try to meet new people. And that's perfectly fine. One of the greatest things about college is meeting new people. But because you're so eager to meet new friends, you find that you trust people a lot more easily. It takes a lot less time to make a "best friend." And because of this, friendships can easily fall apart. Sometimes this happens because you realize you're just not compatible or maybe you joined a frat or sorority and met new people. One of my observations from the beginning was "Being best friends with your roommate is an awesome thing." Well, we were best friends. Now we're at each others' throats. Oops.

2. Home and Family is extremely important to me
Okay, it's not like I didn't know this. But I feel like coming here made me realize just how much I miss it. The adventurer in me always wanted to get as far away from home as possible. Not because I didn't like it, it was simply because I wanted to broaden my horizons. But now that I'm away (and I am not even that far) I'm starting to really value my time at home. And it's also starting to make me rethink my future plans. Can I really leave my family for a year to study abroad? I still want to more than anything. But now I'm a little nervous.

3. People come from all different kinds of upbringings
This one kind of goes without saying. Of course everyone is different and everyone is going to have a different home life but it's not until college that you actually see those differences. Sure, high school had a diverse group of people, but in the end we are all from the same place and we're still with our parents. When we are released into the college realm, I think we all cling onto what we know. And when we do this we run into people that are completely different. And I guess I just find that interesting.

4. Service has become a major part of my life
Going to a Jesuit university you are not getting the full-experience unless you are involved in some kind of service. I was extremely excited to get involved right away by signing up for a service learning class. But I had no idea what kind of an impact it would have on my life. Being involved in service has completely changed my view on the world. It's opened my eyes to so many things I've never noticed. I even see service in my future career. It's become so important to me.

5. Your friends from home will change too
Everyone changes when they get to college. It's a whole new world. The innocent friend from home might turn out to be perspicuous when she's at college. People might experiment and try new things good and bad. College is a time when people discover who they really are and who they aren't. And everyone is going to grow apart. To be honest, sometimes I get jealous when I see my friends with new best friends. But then I realize I've made new ones too. And for the friends from home that I remain good friends with, I hope we can be close friends forever. And instead of getting upset about how each other has 'changed" we'll be excited to hear all their new stories. 

6. I'm not sure where my money has disappeared to
I could've sworn I was the best teenage money-saver. I was always able to keep track of my money. Not so much at school. There are a lot of things you end up spending money on in school. (Transportation, food, books, extracurricular activities, and all that jazz) I guess I never realized how often I didn't need to spend money because I lived in my parent's house. It also probably helped that I had a job then. But either way, I quickly learned after my first semester I need to strengthen my money saving skills even more. I was lucky enough to acquire a work study so that I could have some kind of income the spring semester. That's been really helpful. And I'm back to being money-savvy.

7. It's hard to say goodbye to friends
I've met some of the greatest people here at SJU. And now that it's all ending, it's really sad to see them leave. The beginning of summer is a little more bittersweet here at college. In grade school it didn't matter because you would get to see them all the time. But now when everyone goes back home, home could be hundreds of miles away. And it's kind of upsetting. I'm going to miss everyone a lot.

8. College will change your life
This one is obvious too but it's so true. College is a time of self-discovery and enlightenment. I really feel that SJU and my college years are making me the best person I can be. I'm really grateful for that.