Freshman Year Recap: Spring Semester

I have definitely had a unique freshman year, to say the least, but before we were all forced into our homes by the great COVID-19, I had a few very special months that I would still love to document. Our time this semester may have gotten cut short, but I wouldn’t change the months that I was lucky enough to have in Charleston for the world. So without further adieu: Here is my spring semester at CofC.  

To be completely transparent, this semester was a tough one for a lot of reasons. I dealt with some personal issues that impacted my life and CofC experience, both mentally and academically. But if this semester taught me anything, it’s that when it feels like absolutely everything is falling through the cracks, some things will always remain. For me those things were the few special people that, when I felt like everything was falling apart, stayed completely solid, teaching me that family is not always blood-related. Those people know who they are, and they will always be so incredibly dear to me. 

However, I have to go on a much-deserved tangent for one person in particular, and that is my roommate and best friend, Sophia. I’ll first just say what an incredible gift it was to be able to live with my best friend for my first year of college! I can’t say how blessed I am to have gotten to spend that time with my close friend-turned-sister. I can honestly say that on some days, Sophia was the light in the dark. She taught me so much, including the lesson that I will always be so grateful to have learned: it's okay to need someone to lean on for a little while. If you’re reading this Soph, I love you and you’re so special to me. 

An emotion I dealt with a lot this semester was loneliness. I don’t mean being physically alone, but mentally feeling like you are completely on your own in your emotions and the things that you are going through. I think that sometimes, that can feel even worse than actually being alone. But I don’t look back on those feelings with sadness, it was that feeling that made me so much stronger than I have ever been. When you feel alone in life, you begin to realize that even when you feel completely on your own, you’re still okay. You learn that you can find a home in yourself and peace in the loneliness. Because even when you feel lonely, you are never truly alone. As cliche as it sounds, I learned first hand that it’s completely true. I think I needed to go through the difficult times to find contentment in myself that I never knew before, so I am grateful for it. 

Fear became a part of my daily routine in the past few months. I took on two internships in journalism, something that was both terrifying and exhilarating to a freshman with zero actual experience in the field. What I learned is that the things that scare you the most are also some of the best things in life. I became more passionate than ever about writing, and I was getting to do it every day. It was a bigger workload to balance than I was used to, but I found it challenging in the best way. I also had no choice but to finally figure out the public transportation in Charleston which believe me, is an accomplishment. I think the best part was just getting to feel good at something. For the first time, I felt like I was really doing what I was supposed to be doing, and I loved doing it. It's true when they say that if you love what you're doing, then you'll never work a day in your life. I learned that I want to feel that way in everything that I do in the future. 

Above all, this semester taught me that it’s very much possible to go through the worst and best times of your life, at the same time. I became very familiar with the bittersweetness of life. Amongst the confusion, loneliness, and tough learning experiences, I found myself appreciating the moments where I couldn’t believe how happy I was. The times when I couldn’t stop laughing and when the weight of living somehow felt lighter for a few minutes. This semester was a transformative time in my life, I guess I’m realizing now that that’s why I didn’t actually write anything about college. Today, I’m looking back at it all in quarantine. I’m missing the beach days, the sunsets, the 2 am pizza trips, the pinch-myself views, and the people most of all. But more than anything, I’m just so thankful. I miss you, Charleston. See you when I get to see you.