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Reflecting on the Past 4 Years and Looking Into My Plans for the Future: How I Became the Person I Am Today

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSD chapter.

College went by in the blink of an eye. It feels like it was just yesterday when I was a freshman about to move into my dorm room, leaving home for the first time. The past four years have not been easy. Starting off as a freshman in the middle of a pandemic was really difficult. But at the end of the day, everything turned out okay, and I ended up making so many memories that I will cherish forever. I wanted to take the time to share some of my favorite (appropriate) memories.

  1. Pulling all-nighters with my friends

I know this probably doesn’t seem like a positive thing, and I am in no way recommending that anyone does this, but I’ve had some of the funniest moments in the middle of the night on a random weekday. I spent two quarters taking six classes, meaning that there was never a moment that I did not have an assignment. If I wanted to have any free time during the day, I had to stay up at night and do schoolwork. My friends wanted to stay up with me to do their work, and we would have a challenge to see who would fall asleep first. 

  1. Taking some of the most niche classes

The GE requirements offered at the school I went to for the first two years were extremely flexible, and I had so many options. I could spend all day listing them, but a handful of my favorites were Native American Studio Art, Lying and Deception, a class about Flowers, and a class about Beer. I loved expanding my horizons and learning about such unique topics, which is something that stood out to me when choosing my study abroad program that I will be attending in the fall. 

  1. Exploring and randomly stumbling upon cool places

In both Davis and San Diego, I was fortunate enough to have access to a car, allowing me to not only explore the area surrounding the campuses, but nearby cities as well. For example, in San Diego, I discovered the cutest little thrift store called Honest Thrift. It has a coffee shop attached to it called Garden Coffee, which is also owned by the same person, who is so nice! They have a unique selection of all sorts of items, ranging from household items/decor to clothing, all at a very low price. They also have a variety of plants for sale. The cherry on top about this place is that it is located in Old Town, so I always get to enjoy some of my favorite tacos after shopping. Additionally, one day while driving back from the La Jolla Farmers Market (which I also highly recommend going to), I stumbled upon Mt. Soledad, which has one of the most beautiful views. You can see all of La Jolla and it’s a spectacular place to see the sunset.

  1. Getting a cat as a freshman

If it was not for the pandemic, I guarantee that this would not have happened. Since a lot of people were lonely and felt isolated during the pandemic, some people on my dorm floor adopted animals to serve as a form of emotional support. Since everyone had their own room that year, I think the school was more lenient on it. I adopted a kitten through an organization that was a part of UC Davis’s Veternary School. I was expecting a cat that was calm and shy at first but would eventually bond with me. I was pleasantly surprised to end up adopting a cat who had the personality of a dog. He cuddled with me after the first day of adoption, played fetch, and would even go for walks on a leash. Unfortunately, I moved and had to rehome him, but I am so grateful for the experience, and I look forward to getting another cat when I am settled after graduation.

  1. Trying out so many different things on campus and randomly stumbling upon campus happenings

One of my favorite parts about going to campus is that in between classes and studying, I’ll typically take a walk around and just enjoy being outdoors in such a beautiful location. Doing this also allows me to randomly stumble upon things on campus, whether it be tabling on library walk or something else. I joined several of the organizations I am a part of now by doing this, including HerCampus. While I obviously did not join everything that interested me, I was able to go to meetings or talk to people in different clubs to see what I liked the most. Additionally, sometimes there are genuinely just random events that happen that may not be as advertised. For instance, I was walking around campus one day and NYX Cosmetics happened to be giving out a ton of free products. If you have the chance, set aside a little bit of time during the days you spend on campus to see what’s happening. After all, you only go to college once.

With graduation approaching so soon, I am feeling bittersweet. For the most part, I am glad that I don’t ever have to do homework ever again (if you don’t know me, I’m studying abroad in the fall, so I have to suck it up for an additional semester). I am looking forward to having the opportunity to travel to so many different places, hopefully giving me an idea of where I may want to live and begin my career. College has changed my life so much more than I expected, so I can’t wait to see how much more I grow by both living in Italy this fall and wherever I end up afterwards. 

Tessa Scharff is a fourth year at UCSD studying Communication. She was born in raised in Los Angeles and is super thrilled to serve as both a writer and as the Marketing Co-Director of HerCampus this school year. In her free time, Tessa enjoys hanging out with her friends, working out at the gym, and exploring new places. Tessa plans on studying abroad this upcoming fall in Florence, Italy.