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My Personal Growth: Summer Edition

Hello again, HerCampus readers! I’ve missed writing for you guys over this past summer! I feel like a great way to ease back into the writing process is to catch you guys up on what’s been going on in my life. So, today I’ve decided to look at the positives, because, in all honesty, this summer might’ve been my best yet! I’ll also talk about some of the troubles I’ve overcome in order to get where I am today and hopefully help all of you come to a similar place of happiness and peace. Without further ado, let’s start from the beginning:

  • Living On My Own for the First Time

I definitely underestimated the amount of responsibility it takes in order to have your own place. I had a mental breakdown the night before I moved in because I signed the lease not even a month before, and was terrified I picked the wrong place and that I wasn’t responsible enough. As a freshman, I lived in the dorms, and as a sophomore, I lived in a sorority house. I thought getting my own apartment and living there over the summer would be kind of the same as my living situations the past two years but it was not at ALL what I expected. I had to cook all my own meals, clean (and actually have) my own bathroom, file maintenance requests, remember to pay rent and sign REAL legal documents on my own, without my parents’ help. I was the only one living in my apartment over the summer because my roommate and boyfriend were at home for the majority of the summer, so I was taking care of myself and only myself. It was a huge change going from living with 30 girls to being completely alone. I found so much more peace in it though. I learned that I actually can tolerate and occasionally enjoy being alone. I had just never tried it before.

  • My First Summer Class

When I hear summer school, I think the person’s in trouble or behind in some way academically. This feeling was hard to surpass going into the course. I was actually planning on getting further ahead. Anatomy also doesn’t sound like the most fun to take over the summer. It’s very complicated and I knew there would be a lot of information rushing in all at once since it was only an eight-week course. It was stressful at the start because I didn’t know what to expect, but it wasn’t bad at all. I can actually say that I learned something as well. The teacher made it fun and had us do live experiments and tricks at home that I’ve tried on my friends, which also made it easier to learn and remember.

  • Getting a New Job, and a Promotion…?!

This was my first summer away from home AND living on my own. So on top of my summer class and taking care of my apartment, I decided to apply for five jobs in one day and, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m super indecisive. So I decided I was just going to go with the first job that called me back. Less than two hours after I applied for jobs, I got a phone call for an interview the next day and I ended up getting the job! I’d only ever worked as a CNA in the past, so working at a customer-service job was completely out of my comfort zone. It ended up being one of the best decisions, I love all my coworkers (we actually had a pizza party yesterday) and after only working there for two months, I ended up getting a raise and being promoted to shift leader! I didn’t expect this job to get me more leadership positions, but I’m SO happy it did! Now, I’ll be making money, having fun, and giving others the direction they need. Come visit me at Insomnia Cookies to say hi! :)

  • My Relationship

I’ll try to keep this short because I’m not the mushy-gushy type, but my boyfriend and I have almost been together for a year now… super exciting!! We were long-distance for most of the summer, so it was a little tough, but we survived. I’m really grateful to have someone like him in my life. I’ve been friends with and talked to him since my freshman year and we’ve been close ever since. It’s crazy to me to think of how far we’ve come and how much we’ve been through together. All of our friend groups get along too, so it’s really nice to have such a large and solid support group that you know you can always count on. It’ll be a huge milestone for us, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Summer has always been my favorite season, but this summer might’ve been the best I’ve ever had *plays Best I Ever Had by Drake.* I realized that I’m a lot more capable than I thought I was! The future can be scary; changes come unexpectedly and you never know what’s coming next. I’m hoping this school year will show more growth and happiness for me. But by reflecting on what you’ve been through, you will realize how successful you are and you can gauge how much you want to continue or change the paths you’re already on.

Bella Sibenaller

Illinois State '23

Hi, my name is Bella and I'm a junior here at Illinois State. I'm a psychology major, but I'm also going into nursing. At ISU, I am also apart of the National Society for Leadership and Success and currently serve as the social chair. My hometown is Charleston, Illinois. It's a super small town south of ISU. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends and Facetiming my eight year old sister. If you have any questions about Her Campus or any of the other organizations I'm involved in, please reach out! My Instagram is @bellajsib.
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