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Eight dings. One elevator. Two tide pods. I washed my last load of laundry for the school year. I took the silver elevator down to the cement basement. I listened to the whirl of the washers and the beating of the driers. I washed away the unmet expectations of freshman year, I folded my reality and I packed my hope into a big black suitcase.

 

As the semester closes in, I find myself looking to the present, the past and the future. Who am I? Who was I? Who do I want to be?

I encourage you to reflect over this past semester. Yes, where you wanted to be and where you ended up, but also where you started. Don’t forget to take a moment to recognize and appreciate how far you’ve come.

 

I find that the summer is a great time to work on myself. I sit down and I make lists. Where I want to go, what I want to read, one goal I want to accomplish. And I work towards that. I set little goals that build up to those big goals, and I reward myself when I meet my goals large and small. 

 

I think many people underestimate what can be accomplished in a few short months: if every day for a whole summer, you woke up and you worked on one thing. And the next day you worked on one thing. And you worked like this until you finished that thing. Whatever it is. Maybe you want to work on your temper; perhaps you need to learn how to be a little less accommodating. Summer break is a great opportunity to plant seeds that you can harvest come fall. I try to come back from the summer a bit more sun-kissed and a bit better off than I left.

 

As the finals approach and our spring semester comes to an end, I think it’s a good time to break out your pen, pull open your planner and take a seat at your desk. Ask yourself what you want and why you want it. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday. How can you improve? Pick one thing and run with it.

Sarah Gay is a Physical Therapy student at St Louis University. She loves reading books, exploring nature, and listening to music.
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