As I am quickly approaching the end of my second year of undergraduate studies, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on these past nine months.
Sophomore year is difficult. It is a year of transition on all levels: academic, personal, lifestyle. After the honeymoon phase of freshman year is complete, people begin to grow in different directions: forming new friend groups, establishing priorities and goals, finding themselves. As a student, sophomore year greets you with “Welcome to the big leagues”: heavier course loads, extensive assignments, and the exploration of career paths begin through resume workshops and elevator speeches, LinkedIn, and job fairs.
This year I really learned the importance of self care: that taking 20 minutes to meditate, go for a run, journal, or heck, take a power nap, is not wasting time. In order to keep up with schoolwork, an on-campus job, campus activities, friends and family, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for body, mind and spirit, it is critical to have “me time”. It’s not selfish, rather, an opportunity to re-charge to continue to fulfill my life.
I have found friendship in a group of some of the most genuine, hilarious, intelligent, and kind people I have ever met, while also maintaining my beautiful friendships outside of college. There has not been a single day this entire year I have not been challenged to be the best version of myself, while laughing and drinking plenty of coffee along the way. I have found inspiration to work harder, to establish a more optimistic outlook, and to be selfless in friends both younger and older than me. I have discovered the importance of mentorship: that it comes in all forms, and am appreciative of the supportive network I have as a mentee. I am reminded each day that family is your first and forever friends, and that they should never be taken for granted.
I am not afraid to ask questions, to seek help, to try something new. My mind has been challenged and enriched whilst completing coursework, attending seminars, and discussing academic areas of study that I am genuinely passionate about.
My faith continues to grow stronger as I continue to stand firm in my values and pursue what is good. While I’m a firm believer in planning my work and working my plan, I have learned that challenging my comfort zone and embracing occasional spontaneity can be equally as rewarding.
While there have certainly been stressful moments, limited hours of sleep, and daunting to-do lists, the blessings always outweigh the obstacles. The surge of gratitude I feel at the end of each day serves as a reminder to adopt an “I can”, rather than “I have to” attitude.
Thank you Starbucks, Shania Twain’s “Up!” album, Halo Top ice cream, and most importantly, the professors, advisors, friends, and family that have helped me throughout the course of this year. I truly could not have done it without you.