My second year was one of immense personal growth. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, I spent a lot of time focused on schoolwork, most of which was on my own. I was very grateful for my roommates and all the ways we were able to support each other, and I felt especially lucky being able to live on campus during a semester when not all college students could. I began courses in both my major and my minor, excited to finally delve into civil engineering. I developed a better understanding of my professional interests: not purely engineering but a mix with urban studies, transportation, sustainability, and social justice. I am currently frustrated with the lack of interdisciplinary coursework and hope that progressing farther into the program will present more opportunities for combining my interests.
I also gained a deeper understanding of who I am as a person, socially and emotionally. During my first year, I felt a lot of pressure to be socially engaged all the time. I had to make new friends and invest as much time as I could in those relationships. I struggle with talking to people I don’t know very well, so it was easy to become disappointed in myself. This year, I really focused on doing the things I wanted to, caring less about expectations and what others thought. When I needed to take a night for myself to catch up on schoolwork or rest, I would. I became a lot better at managing school-related stress; I prioritized sleep and well-being over perfecting assignments, and I created a divide between how I valued myself and how I valued my academic success. They are not one in the same; I am breaking the habit of relying on my academic achievements for self-worth.
I received an offer for an internship position within civil engineering for summer 2021, which boosted my confidence. I look forward to the professional experience and the opportunity to continue to narrow my job preferences for when I begin working full-time.