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These last few weeks have been busy and exhausting. Between finals, work, and general life happenings, every day has been just a push to get to the next. "Okay, today I need to finish these 2 assignments before I go to work, then I'll write that essay so that I can take that final in the morning." My mind has been so focused on completing all my to-do lists that I completely forget to engage in the bittersweet celebration that is the end of sophomore year. 

I genuinely cannot believe that somehow the time has both flown by and dragged on. All of a sudden I looked up from my planner and college is halfway over, and yet I still have things to do? How does that make sense?

In all seriousness, I can say for certain that my second year was SO much better than my first. It's funny to think that I was convinced that being a freshman was as good as it gets, but in reality, I was confused all the time and had no clue where I was going or how I would do any of it. I took every day one step at a time with the mindset that I'd just "figure it out eventually!" Then eventually came and went, then came and went again, and now I'm standing at the edge of a milestone without remembering how I got here. I guess that's the biggest thing I've learned over the course of this past school year: sometimes, if you spend too much time focusing on the end goal, you get overwhelmed by the number of steps you’re going to have to take to achieve it. It's perfectly fine to work it out as you go, because stuff happens and you can't always be prepared.

The best part of this year though has definitely been the personal growth in my friendships. Getting older means that you have adult friends with adult priorities and values. Everyone is getting serious, not just about school, but about life in general, and that has made for some incredibly meaningful experiences with the people I've surrounded myself with. I've had the honor of watching many of my friends grow in their relationships, career, and as people, and I've even gained unlikely lifelong friendships along the way.

There's really not a great conclusion to this, and I suppose that's fitting. I've written this reflection as if I've learned everything there is to learn, but we all know that's not true. I'll probably have similar things to say at the end of the next school year, with new insights and new advice to give. But who knows what the future holds? Not me, all I know is that I'm suddenly not an underclassman anymore. Although that's a terrifying thought and I have no idea what to expect, I also couldn’t be more excited.   

Izzy Smith

C of C '23

Izzy is a Special Education Major at CofC with a minor in Religious Studies. She is passionate about education, politics, history, and music. In addition to being a teacher, she hopes to be a political journalist who advocates for equal rights for people with disabilities. You can often find her exploring the city of Charleston with iced coffee in hand or working at the Children's Museum!
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