College Reflections

As you may have noticed from my other graduation posts, I’m graduating!!!  That’s right I will be leaving Clark, and Her Campus, at the end of the semester.  This is not supposed to be a sad post at all- I want to look back on my 3.5 years at Clark with all of you!

Freshman Year 2014-2015

I learned so much my freshman year, as most of us do.  Looking back on it, I definitely did some cringey things but then again, don’t we all?  Looking back now I realize everything that I thought was such a big deal just wasn’t.  I struggled to live with my roommate mainly because we were both different, I dealt with toxic and fake friends, and I, in many ways, didn’t really feel like I fit in.  What I realize now is that all of those things were easily fixable.  I now can live with people that may have different living styles than me, and I have throughout my time at Clark.  Toxic friends are not worth it, it’s normal to lose (and gain) friends in your life, it’s not a big deal.  Also, freshman year is one of the best times to meet as many people as you can and take every opportunity given to you.  I had a hard time meeting new people and experiencing new things. 

My best advice: None of your other years in college will be as exciting as your first.  This is a time to learn as much as possible and constantly be meeting new people.  You should jump outside of your comfort zone; leave your door open, take your neighbors up on their offer to host a movie night and make the most of everything!

Sophomore Year 2015-2016

Sophomore year was amazing and difficult.  I was living in a Blackstone suite with strangers who later became some of my closest friends (BStone 102 forever)!  This year I had a hard time balancing my new friends and social life with my academics.  My relationship with my high school boyfriend was rapidly going downhill and I didn’t know how to handle losing that part of my life.  I also started dating which was kind of terrifying after having the same boyfriend since I was 15.  I made incredible memories like our suite spring break in Puerto Rico, but my GPA suffered for it.

My best advice: College is a balance between fun and work.  You have to have both to be successful.  I focused a little too much on the fun as I was trying to find myself post-break up.  I regret that.  Make time to go to the library, to study, talk to your professors if you need help because if you don’t, it will come back to bite you. 

Junior Year 2016-2017

Junior year was my hardest year yet.  I studied abroad in the fall and returned to Clark in the spring feeling lost.  While I was abroad I felt so lonely except for some of the close friends I made in Santiago (love you Elly!), my boyfriend, and my parents.  I felt obligated to be happy but I wasn’t.  Taking classes in Spanish was hard, I didn’t fit in with the others on my program, and I missed Clark.   However, when I returned to Clark, I didn’t feel like the new Alexis fit in the same way I did before.  That’s how I ended up joining Her Campus, which became one of the best decisions I made!

My best advice: You aren’t going to stay the same in college.  My study abroad was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I learned and grew a lot from it.  So, when I returned to Clark I felt like a different person because in many ways I was.  It’s okay to change activities, passions, and friends as you learn more about yourself.  Just be honest with yourself and everyone else.

Senior Year (aka Senior Semester) 2017

Going into my last semester of Clark I was met with both excitement and fear.  This is big, everything is about to change.  This is a feeling every graduate will have whether in December or May.  I made the most of the semester by working hard, planning, and having fun.  Luckily, the people in my life emphasized the importance of having fun when I got too stuck in my head over my job search.  As an avid planner, I’m leaving Clark facing a world of unknowns and I’m scared.  However, I have a huge support network behind me to help.  The semester went way too fast, and I now find myself getting emotion when I walk by Wright or a memory hits outside of Atwood.  That’s life I suppose.  They said college would go by fast and they were too right.

My best advice: Change is scary but it’s necessary.  Just because you’re leaving the world you have known for so long, doesn’t mean you’re alone.  Besides the people you have in your life that love you, Clark has amazing resources to help graduating seniors and alumni.  Go to career services, use Clark Connect, and LinkedIn.  The Clark network is amazing and they are there to make sure you’re not alone. 

Thank you for reading and thank you Clark!