Dear Freshman Year

Dear Freshman Year, 

I came to URI with set plans of becoming a high school science teacher. Now, I am a Public Relations major and Communications minor. This year has provided so much room for growth and important decision making. 

My first semester, I was an anxious mess. My cat almost died which was one of the most eye opening experiences of my life. I experienced a lot of pain from feeling lonely and angry. I was worried about absolutely everything. It was weird coming to a school that I wasn't familiar with and living with people who I had never met before. My classes were overwhelming and all of my time was practically spent studying and stressing about studying. I could not seem to find a place where I fit in. I didn't feel like I was truly part of URI until my spring semester.

During my spring semester, I made tough decisions about my future when I changed my major and minor. I met great people who I can be myself around. I have finally achieved the great skill of organization, so studying is not as stressful as it was once before. URI became less of a school and more of a home. I also interviewed to become a RA, which I have wanted to become since the first day of my fall semester, and I was given a position in Eddy Hall. 

I have experienced a lot of emotional growth. I have learned to love myself, even on the most stressful days. I have learned to cherish my strengths and run with them, even if they may cause a little trouble here and there. I have adopted an eco-friendly lifestyle. I have stopped using products with harmful chemicals for the environment, started using a reusable straw, started using reusable shopping bags, started buying most of my clothing at thrift stores, and only buying sustainable products. I also only buy from companies, like Aerie, because of the wonderful message they share within their #AerieReal campaign. I have accepted myself, especially through my fashion. My senior year of high school, I wore clothing that I didn't feel like myself in. This year, I have broken through and allowed myself to wear the outfits that I look forward to wearing. 

I have also found myself through writing. I used to write all of the time when I was younger. I found comfort in writing poems and short stories, but when I started to advance in high school, I had little to no time to fully express myself anymore. I was given the opportunity to be a writer, here, on Her Campus. I have enjoyed all of the articles that I have written. Being a writer on here has even gotten me noticed in public on campus. Her Campus has truly been a friend as I pushed through my spring semester because it served as a stress reliever when I would write during my busy weeks.

Although I have written quite a lot about what I've experienced this year, there is still so much more growth that I could never fully explain. I have enjoyed being a student at URI. I am so grateful to be able to work with a wonderful group of people next year in Eddy Hall. I am so happy to continue to find places where I belong. 

So, thank you again, Freshman Year of URI.

Yours Truly, 

Brooke.