A Year in Five Bullet Points
Finals are over. All my papers have been submitted. My sophomore/junior academic year is finished and I successfully completed a full year on the Reynolda Campus at Wake Forest University while missing Copenhagen, Denmark every single day. It's absolutely unfathomable how fast time as an undergrad goes by - much less when you decide to accelerate the experience - and I am just now strapping down my seat belt for the roller coaster that is about to be my final year. If you've read my blog before then you know how much I love to talk, and quite honestly I have a lot I could say about my experiences from this past academic year. As a personal challenge, however, I have decided to limit myself to five bullet points as a summation of everything I have been through, what I have learned and what the foreseeable future looks like for me. Maybe one day I will break all of these five points down in a longer post.
* Friendships take effort and a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone and keep yourself there. Really, it's about flirting with vulnerability. I've learned a lot over the past two years about people, especially when it comes to who I choose to surround myself with. But what I have learned most is that friendships are a choice, a commitment and sometimes a sacrifice (of time, of ego, etc.). And most importantly, friendships absolutely take two people. These past two years I have basically become a networking pro and know how to make friends. I try all my options, but I don't force it when things don't work. People sometimes just don't get along and that is OK. After all, I don't like people who don't like me.
* In no way shape or form is there a "right" way to do college. Falling into the trap of comparison and becoming captivated by grand narratives will lead to disappointment and confusion. Recognizing that each story, each journey, is different, is the way to create a college experience that is unique and powerful to form the best possible version of oneself.
* Privilege. At a school like Wake Forest, is undeniable. This past year has me reflecting heavily upon the position that I occupy in this social stratosphere. With that being said, I have learned the power of hard work, setting my goals and putting my nose to the grind. If I have the privilege to remove myself from the outside world and solely focus on my education, then it is essential for me to do my absolute best to give back to the world what I have been given. The version of my best does not have to look like anyone else's.
* In college, balance is hard and its OKAY to not to have all parts of life working in sync. Working out for the first time in my life was not a priority, when I had a spare moment I needed to sleep and sometimes I needed to sleep but for my own well being I needed to be with my friends. Sometimes you work hard and sometimes you play hard. Some days you eat oatmeal, a Kind Bar, and salad, some days you have two dinners. Some days you wear a blazer, but most days you wear leggings and a sweatshirt. Whatever the circumstance, I learned to let it come. These college years are different from the rest of my life, I have my whole life ahead to find balance.
* Call your family. No matter how busy I found myself, I recognized that this whole experience would not be possible without my family. I call my mom literally every day and my dad and I communicate via texts, GIFs of the Demon Deacon and pictures of my dog. No matter how much I grow, I will never grow away from my roots.