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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LUM chapter.

To My First Year of College, 

Time flew by so fast I didn’t even realize it was time to write this letter. But here I am, reflecting on the first year of my new life. This year tested me more than my finals did, throwing obstacles unexpectedly my way and waiting to see how I reacted. It wasn’t easy at all but I’m so glad that I overcame.  

My first semester came with a lot of tears, trials, and tribulations. I was living on my own for the first time. Although Loyola was an hour away from home, this distance left me alone to figure everything out pretty much on my own. From figuring out when to do laundry or how to fit all three meals in one day despite a busy schedule, it was so hard for me to get into the swing of things. During my first semester, I felt defeated and hopeless at times.  

First year graciously gave me Dance Company, which became my escape. For years I dreamed of performing different dance styles like Jazz and Ballet on a stage. So getting that opportunity was a little dream turned into reality. I am so grateful for that experience. It really showed me what it meant to be in a community and fully step out of my comfort zone. 

My spring semester however was a chance for growth and rediscovery. Two days before the start of the spring semester I had a “coming to Jesus” moment. I stopped everything that I was doing and redirected my academic path to align more with my passion, books. Although it was a small change from Elementary Education to English with a Secondary Education minor, it was a necessary one. I felt bad about not knowing what I wanted to do in life. To me, it felt like everyone around me had a plan and I didn’t. But I quickly realized that your first year of college is designed to be an exploratory year and it was perfectly okay to be confused, no matter what people said. 

This second semester revelation sparked a passion of mine that I locked away a long time ago: writing. I’ve always been a writer but since high school, I saved writing for only when I was sad or experiencing intense emotions. But, after joining Her Campus and taking my first writing course, I realized that I do have the power and the gift to write not only when I’m anxious, but also when I simply have a creative spark. I soon fell in love with how simple words on a page could tell a story. 

So to my first year of college, thank you for giving me so much grace. I know it wasn’t hard, and I know how difficult I could be, but I overcame it. And now I’m here. To my Sophmore year of college, hi. We have so much more work to do. Buckle up. 

Sincerely, 

Tyra <3 

Tyra Alexander is a National Writer for Her Campus, primarily writing about life, experiences, and academics. She is also Editor In Chief at her campus chapter at Loyola University Maryland. Beyond Her Campus, Tyra is a Junior English Major and communications minor. She is the Head Nonfiction Editor for her campus' literary art magazine, Corridors and is Senior Copy Editor for her school's newspaper, The Greyhound News. In her free time, Tyra can be found reading a romance book (or two), dancing with her university’s dance company, or watching vlogs by her favorite YouTubers. She is a big fan of R&B and pop, with her favorite artists being Victoria Monét, Beyoncé, and Ariana Grande.