Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dear First Semester

Dear First Semester,

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have spent the past week writing and re-writing this Sunday's letter as "Dear Finals Week," but I was getting NOWHERE.  So last night at about 11:56 it hit me.  The reason I can't find the words to write is because this is not what I am supposed to be writing. I have already spent an entire semester here - how insane is that? I'm pretty sure I just got here.  So as my first semester wraps up, I have decided to reflect on the past 18 weeks.  In such a short amount of time SO much has happened; new friendships have formed, old ones have been strengthened, lessons have been learned, adventures have been taken, memories have been made.  And even through all the stress and the ups and downs, I have loved every second of it.

The difficulty of the adjustment that is made when one moves to college varies from person to person, but the feeling cannot be explained until you experience it first hand.  Luckily I think that I transitioned pretty well.  I really enjoy the freedom (and even the responsibilities) that comes with living on your own.  That in itself is such a huge growing experience.  I have learned how to take care of myself.  For the most part ;) Shortly after moving in, my roommate and I mustered up the confidence to invite some girls from our floor to watch the Bachelor In Paradise with us.  Let me tell you, best decision of my life! Sometimes 5 seconds of insane courage is all it takes, because we met such an incredible person that we now spend all our time with, and I thank God for her everyday. There are some other really sweet girls that live on our floor as well.  And in studio, I have bonded with a pretty great group of people. People who inspire me everyday, keep me motivated, and bring me smiles when all I want to do is cry.  College is full of so many people from so many different backgrounds, especially for me coming from such a small high school. I can honestly say that even in a matter of months, I have made some life-long friends.  New friendships have formed.

One of the hardest parts about the transition, though, was everything I had to leave behind.  So many amazing people I would no longer be privileged to see everyday. The thought of this terrified me.  I have heard so many horror stories of people going off to college and forgetting about everyone they went to high school with.  I am lucky to say, however, that I still talk to most of my friends on a very regular basis, some every single day.  We have visited each other, and spent time together over breaks, and every time we're together it's like we haven't missed a beat.  With all the social media today, it is not hard to keep in touch with those who matter.  All it takes is a desire to do so, and a tiny bit of effort.  "True friendship is when two people can walk in different directions, but still remain side by side." This cannot be more true.  It is good to be able to get away, because we all have to grow and find ourselves as individuals, but we are confident that those friends who have always been around, will always be there.  Old friendships have been strengthened.

And of course, we can't talk about college without school! College is just a little different than high school.  Or a lot different.  Nobody tells you that you have to be up, no one tells you that you have to be in class, you are not babied, or reminded of assignments, or told what to do.  The only person accountable for your education is you, and you can do with it what you wish.  My first lesson learned? Just because I could be awake at 6 and get to school every single morning by 7:30 in high school, does not mean that the trend with continue into college.  If you are not a morning person, do NOT take an 8 a.m.  Unless it is the only time offered, don't do it.  It will do you more harm than good. And for those who can spring out of bed and happily go to class at that ungodly hour, you are blessed.  Kudos to you.  I also can say I have learned a lot in my design classes.  I entered this program completely clueless as to what I would be doing.  I can still honestly say that I have no clue what I'm doing! But I'm working on it :) I have definitely come a LONG way since the first drawing I produced, each project has gotten progressively better.  Hopefully the trend continues! I could add so many more, but I think I'll save that for another post.  Long story short, lessons have been learned.

So many new adventures! My first college football game, first college party, 1 a.m. trips to Whataburger, hammocking in the cold, discovering new places, you name it.  I learned to enjoy watching football in high school, but nothing compares to the atmosphere that floods the entire town on game day.  I absolutely love our school spirit, and I am so excited for Saturday's to roll around so I can cheer on my hogs! Parties are fun too.  I couldn't do it everyday, but I do enjoy being social every once in awhile.  I have met some cool people, and I really enjoy dancing.  And another great thing about college? When you get hungry in the late hours of the night, no one is stopping you from satisfying this.  And I love it.  I have also spent several nights just wandering around campus, setting up a hammock, and enjoying good company. Sometimes that's all you need.  So yes, adventures have been taken, and here's to many more.

Maybe it has only been a matter of months, but SO much has happened.  The past few weeks have been so crazy for me, I have almost forgotten all the incredible things that I have been blessed with this semester.  And if you think that it has gone by fast, it is not slowing down.  Enjoy every second of it, because one day it will be nothing but a memory.  So hooray for a successful first semester! Memories have been made :)

This week I challenge everyone to take some time to reflect.  Whether its on the past year, or the past month.  It is hard for us to see the changes as we live day by day, but look back at everything that has gone on, and appreciate how blessed you are for the life you are living.  

Only 4 more days until I head home for Christmas break, and the feeling is bittersweet.  I have had an incredible start to my new journey, and I cannot wait to return in the spring to find out what's in store for me next! Thanks for everything Fayetteville.  See ya next year :)

Yours Truly, 
Pantless Sunday's  


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