Sunday, October 30, 2011

Midterm Reflection

           At this time last year, the stress of senior year was overwhelming. Balancing the workload of AP classes with completing college apps was an unfeasible task. It seemed scary to think I would be starting college soon and I had no idea where I would be. Deciding which schools to keep on my list seemed impossible. I applied to twelve schools and did not have a favorite. SJU was never at the top of my list but as May 1st came around I found myself more and more attracted to what the school has to offer. For a long time I hoped that SJU was the right choice.
Before I knew it, it was the end of August and I had no idea what to expect. The first few weeks of college I was caught up in the combination of anticipation, stress, and excitement. I didn’t really have the time to stop and think about what I was doing, I just did it. Reflecting of the past three months has given me a new perspective. 
Being in college has forced me to think differently about the future. It all seems so real now. I have finally settled in and gotten into the swing of things at SJU. It recently hit me that I am going to be here for the next four years. It seems so intimidating to know what is in store for me in the next four years, but have no idea what the future actually brings. Even though I am only a freshman in college I cannot help but think about the next step of my life after I graduate from SJU and enter the real world. It seems only natural to be curious about my future now that I have begun this new chapter of my life as an “adult.”
I use the word adult because yes, technically I am 18 and I do not live under the supervision of my parents. But, really I am just trying to figure this whole thing out. It is a lot more difficult than it seems to be independent. Often, people just think of the freedom they are given and don’t recognize the responsibility that comes with it. It has taken time to learn the skills of time management and I know that I still have to work on starting assignments earlier and being more productive. Procrastination was always a weakness of mine in high school, but I’ve noticed on the past three months I have improved. In high school I would rely on my mom to wake me up and here an alarm clock is a necessity. Something as simple as going food shopping becomes a hassle. Overall, I feel like I have gotten more responsible doing things on my own and not relying on others. In college, you don’t really have a choice; if you don’t do something then it doesn’t get done.
The environment at SJU is completely different than my high school. Competitive does not begin to describe my school district in my hometown. It was a ruthless environment where students always compared grades with each other after tests or big assignments. Here, I do not feel that pressure. I still work my absolute hardest, but I do it for myself and my own benefit. I don’t feel the need to prove myself anymore. It is refreshing to learn in this type of environment and I hope that this continues.
I would not have imagined meeting the people that I have here at Saint Joe’s. I feel lucky to have made close friends with girls on my floor. It is weird to think that we know each other so well and only met three months ago. My perspective has changed by meeting new people and learning where others have come from. It is harder than I thought being away from my family. Some people don’t like to admit it, but I miss my family. I miss the simple things like eating dinner with my sisters and hearing my dogs bark out the window. It is definitely an adjustment to live away from home in a completely new environment surrounded by new people. But, this type of change is good and it is exciting. After reflecting on the past few weeks at Saint Joe’s, I can’t help but anticipate how I will continue to grow within the next few years.  

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