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As my sophomore year of college is coming to a close, I am feeling almost a little sad that it has gone by so quickly. Thinking about how I will be an upperclassman next semester is a scary thought. I have loved college so far and feel like I will be walking away from my sophomore year having learned so much more about myself. I have to admit this year was difficult, but I have come away with a lot of self-awareness that will only help me in the future.

This year I struggled with anxiety, nothing new for me. What was new was depression. I dealt with depression in the fall semester for the first time in my life. If you weren’t living with me and seeing me every day you probably wouldn’t have noticed, but I battled it for months. While I was going through this I was struggling to find support systems around me. I didn’t know who to turn to or what to do. I kept so much locked up inside of me that those closest to me knew something was wrong, but they didn’t know how to help. I learned that talking with those I trust helped me deal with the depression I was feeling. I started to become very self-aware the more I talked to friends, families, and counselors. Coming to my conclusions about why I might be feeling a certain way or what might be preventing me from moving away from these feelings was a strong skill that I gained. Placing importance on my mental health and prioritizing it helped me to grow tremendously this year. I started saying no more often, (even though I am still working on this), and prioritized “me time”. I needed to create a cut-off for myself to stop answering texts after a certain time, not do anything work-related past a certain time, etc. I was getting so overwhelmed always doing something and going from one thing to the next. I never stopped working and found myself getting more and more anxious and stressed out as time went on. 

Going into summer I feel ready to take on anything. I am excited for the new challenges ahead and feel I understand myself better. Knowing what I need to feel good and feel fulfilled is such a great skill I have learned that I wish I had learned earlier. I have grown into a person who can recognize now when I am taking on too much and when I need to lighten my load. 2022 is starting to feel like it just might be my year. 

Julia McNicol is a sophomore at Lasell University studying Fashion Media and Marketing with a minor in Journalism. She can most likely be found shopping, dancing, or watching romantic comedies. Her instagram can be found at @juliamcnicol as well as @juliashannonxoxo for fashion specific content.
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