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A year ago, I wrote down a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish academically, personally, and socially by this point in my life. Remembering what I wrote, while looking back on my sophomore year, I realize now that most of those goals manifested and came true. I wanted to put myself out there as much as I could remotely, get busy, make new connections, push myself, and try new things. I feel nostalgic about this past year but ready to move forward. 

It’s hard to believe that college is halfway over. Freshman year was probably one of the most transitional years of my life. I moved from a small town to a big city, transferred to UMass, learned things about myself, and met many amazing people. Halfway through my first year in college, COVID-19 sent everyone away from campus. It was definitely a year of change and lessons. To embrace the transitions that will come in the next chapter of my life, I want to reflect on this one. 

To sophomore year: you allowed me to grow in so many positive ways. While I completed classes online from my kitchen back at home, there were silver linings. I have spent more time with family than I ever have, personally developed, and appreciated the simple things in life. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do that.

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I’m now about to be a junior, halfway done my undergraduate education. It is equally terrifying as it is exciting. Time has flown so fast, and it sure doesn’t feel like it’s been two years. There have been so many things I have learned, and things I have yet to. There are things I have accomplished, and things I am still working towards. I am excited to enter more open doors, but sad to close this one. 

I have made wonderful new friends over Zoom that will come with me into the times ahead. I never thought I could build such empowering friendships virtually that will only strengthen in person. I am grateful for the memories and experiences I’ve shared with those closest to me. Thank you for giving me such dope and unforgettable moments.

You have made me a better person and given me so many blessings in disguise. You challenged me, brought the best people into my life, allowed me to have incredible experiences, shaped me into a more confident person, and prepared me for the next stage. Thank you for changing my outlook on the world and mindset in the best ways.  [bf_image id="q8pdys-7hcke0-arfduy"] Sophomore year: you brought so much love and light into my life. So thank you for the sweet memories, healthy friendships, self-discovery, opportunities, and growth. Goodbye teenage years, high school bedroom, online classes, and feelings of missing out from experiences taken by the pandemic. These last two years have given me unexplainable and immeasurable happiness. I am grateful for everything you have shown me and I am ready to face the future because of you. 

Talazen Smith

U Mass Amherst '23

Talazen is a Spring 2021 Her Campus member for UMass Amherst. She is a Junior majoring in Legal Studies and minoring in Sociology. She is also a Content Editor for the UMass chapter, a writing tutor in the UMass Writing Center, and a member of Alpha Chi Omega.
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