As I reflect on my first year of college, I am amazed at how fast it has gone but how long I have felt like I’ve known this place and these people. I look back to the beginning of the year and am surprised at how many ups and downs there have been, how many new challenges and opportunities I faced, and truly how much I have grown.
College is weird. You pack up your stuff and move away from your parents for the first time ever. You move into a place with 60,000 other students whom none of which you know, leaving the group of friends you have spent 12 years with. I moved into a tiny space with a girl I met from Facebook, and two other strangers. As it sounds, this could have gone terribly- I remember the horror stories I created in my head before starting college. However, I could not have asked for better roommates, suitemates, floormates, and friendships this year. I have learned so much from each individual and experience I have met. These three girls pictured are some of the friendships I treasure most. The first girl was the suitemate who quickly turned into my go-to girl. We have laughed and cried, we’ve fought and made up, we have struggled in astronomy lecture and worshipped our God in service. She made sure none of my days were boring. She taught me about learning to love yourself and being independent, and gave me the courage to chase my dreams. Which is what she will be doing, as she pursues a career in acting and voice instead of returning to OSU. I am beyond heartbroken but so proud of her, and I know even though I have only known her for a year, our bond cannot be broken. Get yourself a friend who will go to Valentines Day dinner with you in the Short North when you are both as single as it gets. The second picture is of her roommate, Michelle. Always referred to as our “mom,” she always made sure we were doing okay. Speaking with her taught me to be open-minded and to love without limits. I cannot wait to visit her apartment next year! Get yourself a friend that will dress up like a hippie with you just to get three dollar burritos. The last photo is of my lovely roommate and best friend. I definitely recommend finding your roommate on Facebook. Sophie became a best friend the second I met her and was my biggest support system this first of college. From reminding me that things will be okay when I’m stressed to the late night chats in the bunk beds- I would have been a mess with out her. She taught me that I could truly do it all, as she set an example by working, training for a marathon, studying, and spending time with friends. I am so glad that I will get to live with her again next fall. Get yourself a friend who will cheer with you on good days (like OSU game days), and be by your side on the bad days.
A big part of my freshmen year was being a part of ENR Scholars. From the camping trip which took me away from campus to relax, to the service projects and events that kept me focused. Being a part of a group of people, and living with them as well, made the transition into college so much easier. I met so many more people, and made friendships that will last a lifetime. Having Esther and Amanda reminded me that I had adults here who cared about me and wanted me to do well- not just academically but in life. Overall, it was an inspiring experience that taught me that I can always improve as a person and have the ability to do make a change in this world.
One of the most important things I learned this year was how important it is to save time to enjoy the little things. Sometimes we get too caught up in our busy lives that we leave no time to just enjoy the day, which is so important for our mental health. April has been fun for me to get to try to do something big for our Earth by eating vegetarian, and it has been a really cool experience. This year I learned how stress-relieving it is too breathe in fresh air, lay in the grass, pet an adorable dog, and admire a pretty autumn tree or remarkable sunset. You have time, I promise.
I already bragged on my girl friends, but I want to take the time to talk about this whole group of people. These are some of the best people I have ever met. All of the guys always had us girls’ backs, and that is so important in college. They taught me how I should be treated and always made sure I was having a good time no matter how bad of a day I was having. They taught me about keeping a balance in my life between working hard and still enjoying life.
I have definitely grown in my time here, choosing to live intentionally. I hope to stay friends with all of these wonderful people, and even make more friendships next year. I hope to continue basking in the sunshine and taking hold of every opportunity that comes my way. Goodbye freshmen year, hello summer!