Looking Back…

It’s almost the end of the semester, which means my junior year of college is drawing to a close. It’s so strange that next year I’m going to be a senior in college…senior year of high school doesn’t even feel like it was that long ago! But the truth of the matter is, my days at Utica College are quickly drawing to a close. I will only have two more semesters before I can call myself a college graduate. (!!!)

As I was thinking over my junior year, I realized that this year (both fall and spring) has been filled with events and happenings that have helped to shape who I am as a person, as well as influence my decisions toward my future. I actually plan to write a huge lookback over my entire time at Utica College right before I graduate, but (for now) I give you some of my musings on my junior year.

I joined a new (unexpected) organization. I love being involved on campus; I try to be an active participant in multiple organizations here at Utica College. However, most of the organizations I am involved with are expected (if people know me or my major.) So, one day I saw a flier for a trip to Sleepy Hallow (of Headless Horseman fame) and decided to tag along with the History club that was sponsoring the trip. I met loads of great (and interesting!) individuals by attending, and even became a member of the organization. I never even knew the history club had such a presence on the Utica College campus, but now I know and am a part of it. It’s fun to do new things, and meet people you wouldn’t potentially meet.

I stood up for myself. College is a time when a lot of people are forming friendships and making connections for life. However, sometimes the friends you make in college are only meant to be your friends for a short time; they influence your life, and then you go your separate ways. I was friends with people of whom I love dearly and wish the world for, but eventually our personalities and interests just did not mesh well. The breaking point came when I voiced my concerns and was met with resistance and little to no effort. I couldn’t see myself continuing on with that friendship, and that is completely okay. I didn’t want to abandon what I believe is important and healthy in a friendship.  It isn’t a crime to let go of things that you no longer think are beneficial. In the end, it only matters if you are happy and what makes you feel the best.

I learned to let things go. I have already mentioned that I am an active participant in several organizations on campus, but sometimes being that involved can seem daunting. Normally I do not mind having a full schedule, I like keeping busy! However, I realized that I couldn’t possibly attend every single club meeting that I had and still be able to complete hw/go to work/sleep etc. So, I made the decision to step back from an organization I was a part of. I made sure to let the president know I was going to be an inactive member, yet I still wanted to receive minutes. I’m glad I recognized that I just couldn’t possibly do everything I wanted to do; doing too many things causes stress, and your attention to be too divided.

I stopped being so hard on myself. A bad grade is not the end of the world. Tests are important, but do not require loss of sleep to feel confident about. My junior year I came even more to terms with the fact that not everyone can succeed at everything; people have things they are good at, as well as things they are bad at. My junior year of college brought my highest test grade ever (a 100 on a test in a bio course!) as well as my lowest test grade ever (I failed…and then some.) However, I have learned to take pride in the little things. Physics has been one of the hardest classes I have ever taken, and instead of getting upset that I don’t understand major concepts…I try to celebrate my little victories. If I answer a question right during lecture, just that can make my entire week.

Positivity goes a long way. I’ve always tried to be a positive person, but this semester I really amped it up. My mother has always believed in the power of positive thinking, and shared with me some of her readings and videos when I started to focus on the negative aspects of my life. Now I try to focus on the good rather than the bad. If I have a super busy week I don’t project that I’m upset about it, I try to enjoy the packed schedule…it’s better than being bored! You should always attempt to see the twist or the positive side of things, it can change your whole world view!

So this post detailed my little stories of personal growth over my junior year at Utica College. Look back for another post when I highlight some of my favorite events that I attended. (I’m saving that one just because I’m so psyched for all of the events coming up!) I encourage everyone to look back on their own year here at Utica College, you may be surprised at how far you’ve come!

(Leadership weekend. 2014. This was one of the most stressful, yet life-changing days of my life. I'm terrified of heights, yet I still did it. Yes, I cried and almost gave up, but I didn't. And that's what matters.)
(Leadership weekend. 2014. This was one of the most stressful, yet life-changing days of my life. I’m terrified of heights, yet I still did it. Yes, I cried and almost gave up, but I didn’t. And that’s what matters.)