25 Reasons Why I'm Proud of Myself This Semester

At the conclusion of every semester, I take some time to reflect on everything I’ve accomplished. I’ll flip through my journal, scroll through old pictures, and rummage through the scribbled notes, fliers, and to-do lists that clutter the inside of my desk. After the stress of finals (or sometimes during it), taking this pause to reflect is so very necessary. Especially because it comes at a point of transition, change, and upheaval in my life – things I am just no good at dealing with. Friends are leaving for their respective summer destinations, I’m plagued with cleaning and packing up my own life, and the summer looms ahead with a host of frightening unanswered questions: Will I save enough money? Will I have friends to spend time with? Will I see my family? Will I be happy?

I like to reflect on each semester because, by the end, I feel like a failure. I am burned out, overwhelmed, and terrified for the next season of my life. So taking tally of my accomplishments is just the boost that I need – a little reminder that I’m doing just fine. And when I look at just how far I’ve come, I am reminded of my resilience. Because the answer is yes, I will save enough money; yes, I will have friends to spend time with; yes, I will spend time with my family; and yes, I will be happy. Because after all, I’ve made it this far, haven’t I?

The start of the semester was rough to say the least. After a series of events, I had fallen back into depression and returned to a daily regiment of stoicism, crying, and bingeing Ben & Jerry’s. It was not a pretty sight. While I’m not quite sure how I made it out of that phase over the course of the semester, I can say with great certainty that I wouldn’t have been able to do so without the love and support of some incredible friends. I’d shout them out individually, but they know who they are.

With consideration to my depression, my three babysitting jobs, a position at the library, and 17 credits, this semester was undoubtedly the hardest of undergrad yet – and that’s saying a lot, considering all that I’ve been through. But in spite of the overwhelming load of responsibility, I accomplished some great feats this semester – some in spite of my circumstances and some because of them.

This semester I:

1.  Started kick-boxing twice weekly

2.  Became a section editor for Her Campus

3.  Learned to value my mental health

4.  Paid for my own spring break (and drove 17 hours to Florida & back)

5.  Cut 7 inches of my hair

6.  Stood for 24 hours in Dance Marathon

7.  Went to Skeeps, Dom’s, and the Blue Lep for the first time (!!)

8.  Became great friends with my girl-crush (!!)

9.  Volunteered in Detroit with the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI)

10.  Ran my first half-marathon

11.  Publically spoke out against sexual assault

12.  Fundraised more than $600 for Dance Marathon & Camp Kesem

13.  Spent time with my amazing family

14.  Celebrated my brother’s 17th birthday

15.  Survived norovirus (haha, but really)

16.  Attended a special needs prom with my great friend, Lea

17.  Celebrated Galentine’s Day with friends

18.  Declared myself a feminist

19.  Made a best friend

20.  Became president of German Club

21.  Learned a new language (Parlez-vous Français?)

22.  Got hooked on New Girl & One Tree Hill

23.  Started working at the library

24.  Made it to the summer

25.  And turned in more assignments, essays, and final projects than I care to recall.

 

To the hardest semester of undergrad: thank you – thank you for pushing me to my limits, for making me dig deep, and for showing me that I am capable of thriving in the toughest of circumstances. In spite of all that you threw at me, I emerged with 25+ reasons to be proud of myself.

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

 – Albert Camus