Goodbye to Sophomore Me

As assignments are being finished, and the preparations for finals begin, another academic year is being completed and the promise of summer with warmer days looms nearly close enough to grasp. In the second part of my goodbye series, I reflect on sophomore year.

Two years down. Two more years to go. The halfway point in a football game. The middle of the bridge. The light at the end of the tunnel now more visible. It brings slight panic to the pit of my stomach as I realize college is getting closer to being finished and the “then what?” question becomes a reality in my life.  

Lessons have been learnt and true friendships have been established in this past year. The beginning of sophomore year filtered away all the fake freshman friends and those who are no longer needed to be a part of my life leaving me in a better and happier place. New friends have been made and more faces have become familiar when walking around campus, along with new opportunities and experiences that I will continue with next year, including being Writing Director and Senior Editor for Her Campus.

I started sophomore year with new second piercings, my 21st birthday and a drivers license. Going into my second year at college I thought I knew more of what to expect and that I would be prepared. To some degree I was right, but I also thought I knew myself pretty well, it turns out I was wrong. I know this sounds cliché, but there is no other way to put this. I have learnt so much about myself this year, which makes me excited to see what growth I have in my junior year. 

So what have I learnt?

I’ve learnt that the community I decided to be part of two years ago is stronger and more amazing that I ever could have imagined or wished for. The Borderline shooting and the Woolsey Fire shook this community to its core in a matter of 24 hours in November 2018, ruining lives and homes. As a result I have seen endless love come pouring from every direction possible; from students, professors, members of the community, high school friends and even Lutheran churches across the US making quilt blankets for the students at CLU. But undoubtedly it has also changed us and the community I am part of. It has changed me.

I consider myself lucky as neither I, nor my friends were there that night, neither was my home evacuated or burned down, but it still has had an impact and I am not alone. More than ever I have now become aware of my surroundings, watching the behavior of those around me and searching for my nearest exit when entering a building. A quiet voice sitting in the back of my mind telling me be careful and be aware. Thousand Oaks felt so safe before November, now I look at the places I consider safe differently, no longer wearing rose tinted glasses.

                                                                    Photo Courtesy of bestrongfamilies.org

This year I became a journalist for the school newspaper. For a whole semester I spent each week churning out a new story, putting myself under pressure to find sources and write it in time for class on Friday. On the outside you probably know me as the quiet girl that chooses not to raise her hand to speak in class, preferring to absorb rather than partake. She has become the girl running around school creating stories for others to read campus wide. I’m not afraid to say I am proud of myself. If someone had told me that I would be doing this at the beginning of freshman year I would have laughed.

I’ve also learned how headstrong I can be, whether it is staying up late to finish an article or to study, or dealing with multiple things at once in school, or handling multiple personal matters at the same time. Each time I can pull myself up and through it, coming out of the other side stronger than before. I think all of us can relate to this to some degree, whether it is serious or more trivial. Even bad days are only 24 hours.

I can’t wait to see what junior year brings me. It will be different not just because of new classes, being a junior, a new dorm room with different roommates as my roommate travels abroad next semester, but because I will become a little bit more me. A fresh start is just what we all need at this point in the year, a little movement in our comfort zones to grow a bit more. But for now, I think we all need summer.

Here is to a new year and goodbye to Sophomore Me.

                                                                  Photo Courtesy of Pinterest