Reflection on College as Junior Year Begins...

Over the past two years, I have seen growth within practically every aspect of my life. Friendships, academic abilities, and health seem to be flourishing. As a 20-year-old now entering my junior year of college, I can honestly say that I believe growth is the best medicine for anyone. 

You go into college with the mindset of what you’ve been told your whole life: “These will be the best four years of your life.” So, that’s what you expect. You expect to find your friends the first day of freshman year, your loved ones the next, and you expect to be happy through every single minute of it. But, this is not at all how it works. And that’s for the better.

Growth in your friendships is about finding the right people. It’s not about sticking with the ones who are bad for you. Sophomore year was the year this realization shines brighter than ever. Some people are not the ones you belong with—there are better and more mature people who are for YOU. Growth in friendships at college is about finding those friends who stay with you at a party or ask you to go study; not the ones who ditch you and hang out when it’s convenient for them. 

Growth in your academic abilities stems almost completely from your mindset. The transition from high school to college was a bit of a wake-up call, but after the first semester of your freshman year, you begin to figure out how college classes work. Then second semester comes along and you realize balancing your social life and your academic life is beginning to become a bigger challenge. Without having a fantastic social life, your college days seem to only be about schoolwork. Without progressing in your academics, your college days quickly switch to only focusing on partying and socializing. It is imperative that there is a balance between these two aspects of your life because without this balance, your academics could be negatively affected. It takes time, but eventually you will be able to find a rhythm within your academics. 

Growth in your health, especially your mental health, is extremely vital to becoming a person that is more in-tune with their emotions. While eating the right foods and making sure you are working out is important, staying in check with your mental health will also be of importance to you when you’re a college student. Stress levels rise extremely fast, and sometimes for no reason at all. It is important to remember that everyone surrounding you is in the same boat. Some have anxiety, some may have chronic stress, but being intact with your mental health will allow you to grow into the person you are meant to be.

Junior year. Halfway done with college. Crazy, isn’t it? These past two years have taught me more about myself and the lessons I have learned have taught me to grow into the person I believe I am meant to be. While you keep growing into the real “you,” remember one thing: only you can be you. No matter how much you grow, and how much you change, everything that is happening in your life is turning you into the person that you are truly meant to be.