May 14, 2016

1st Year Reflection + Where I'm Headed

Well, I have said my farewells and see you soon greetings to my freshmen friends and memories. More has happened to me in this first year of college than I could ever put into words. After saying all the goodbyes and even packing up my freshmen dorm, it didn't really sink in that it was over and that I will be saying goodbye to the people in my life that have become my home away from home in the past nine months. It didn't hit me till the flight from Kansas to Portland. Three months will fly by and I will have a busy summer so I the reality of missing these people isn't what hit me (even though I will miss them like crazy), the reality was that the first year of my adult life, the first year of me being on my own, the year of figuring out who and what I rely on, the year of surrounding myself with people that challenge me, the first year of firsts is over. A year of growth, adventures, tears, authentic friendships, conversion, & stepping out of my comfort. All this was coming to an end. This is what I was reminiscing about and realizing that I will miss this time of my life, because you only have one freshmen year of college. But then I soon realized that yes, I should think back on these past nine months and be thankful, but now I need to close that book and put it on my life shelf. I need to open my next book and get ready to write in it because I have a whole book shelf to fill up. This last book was just the beginning and I should occasionally go back and open it to realize how far I've really come. 

I've lived my freshmen year and I don't have any regrets. Everything I experienced this first year in college, I had to go through it to get to where I am today. 

"You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place, I told him, like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and place, because you'll never be this way ever again. "
-Azar Nafisi

// One of the biggest lessons I've learned this past year is that if I want something, go get it. Sounds simple enough but there's an art to it and I was privileged to have many inspiring examples of how to do this. I've always been a pretty confident direct person, but his year I was challenged to put my God given gifts and personality out there and go after what I want. Looking back I can see that a lot of the opportunities that I was given this year was because I wanted to get the experience and opportunity so I simply found a way to get it. The feeling is so rewarding knowing you set a goal, you went after it, and you achieved it. 

 // Leave any preconceived notions you may have of college at the door. The movies do an awesome job in creating a college experience that more often than not is not realistic and shouldn't be. Realize everyone's story is different. It's okay that you didn't meet your future spouse in the first month and it's okay that you don't have your friend group solidified. It's also okay that you may not even have a major picked out yet. Your story and path is unique and so special that sometimes it just takes time. 

// Go to everything and meet everyone the first few weeks of school. Seriously this was the best decision I made my first month of college. You might not up being friends with those people that you first hang out with, but that's okay. You aren't suppose to be friends with everyone in college, but you are suppose to learn how to step outside yourself and say yes to things that will challenge you. 

// Don't be afraid to go to events by yourself. Again the best decision I could have made. It is very intimidating to go to the dining hall and not know who you'll sit with. Or walk into an event by yourself and have to meet people on your own. But DO IT!!! You'll grow so much and it is strength that will take you far in life. Growth happens when you you let go of your comfort zone. College is a time to learn how to be on your own. It's a time to learn to be in the present moment and what the present means for you. It's a time to figure out where you fit in society and giving yourself permission to blossom into the real you. To do that, sometimes it calls for you to be uncomfortable and flying solo. 

First year was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything, and just made me more convicted to keep goo forward. The growing and challenging myself didn't stop just because school ended. I will be putting everything that I learned this first year at BC into more practical forms in my summer internships. 

This summer I am blessed to be learning about two fields that I have a growing passion for. I will be interning in the communication office for the Archdiocese of Portland as well as be an office intern for Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler. I am extremely excited, nervous, and optimistic as I begin writing a new book on my shelf of life.