After yesterday’s not-so-happy post, I’m ready to kick off a week of celebration. I promise after next week I’ll stop talking about graduation. If you couldn’t tell already, I’m a little excited for this Thursday.
I’ve touched on some of my earlier college years in previous posts (here and here) but I’ll never be able to fully communicate how I felt at that time because I didn’t write in the moment. Know what I mean? The first two years of college were really hard for me. I seriously considered transferring closer to home many times. I didn’t love my housing situation for the first two years. I felt like an outcast in a crazy city and struggled to find people with similar interests. Therefore, the fact that I can look back and say “hey, I made it through, and I made it through stronger,” is pretty darn amazing. GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT. I’m not one for bragging but we (as a society) are so hard on ourselves. Always comparing ourselves to others and wanting to do more and be better (what does that mean?!). I think it’s good to recognize and admit to personal successes, whatever the magnitude.
While this post is a little self-indulgent, I want to highlight six of the “biggest” highlights, lessons and accomplishments from my college career. Oddly none of them involve actual academic classes…
*In no particular importance, just the order of the pictures above*
I never talked about it on the blog (for various reasons), but I was in a sorority for two years. I could write a novel on my thoughts and experience but I’ll summarize with this: it just wasn’t for me. I have absolutely nothing against the girls in my sorority (most are my good friends) or other sororities but I was/am happier not being in one. It did impact my college experience and “growth” so it feels right to include it here.
My first real job on campus was teaching Spinning at the campus gym. I taught at various times each semester, depending on my schedule. For two years I taught twice a week and for the last year and a half I taught only once a week. I remember being the BIGGEST ball of nerves before teaching my first class and didn’t even tell my mom until after the fact because I didn’t want to jinx myself. It was a great way to ease into work responsibility. Plus, who doesn’t love getting paid to workout?
People ask me all the time how I got the job as a campus representative for KIND. The truth is, it was serendipity. That’s my favorite word, by the way. I was at the right place at the right time, literally and figuratively. It was toward the end of a rough freshman year and KIND had always been a (delicious) staple in my diet because of celiac. Having the opportunity to work for a company I already loved and supported was a dream. I’ve only come to love them, and their mission, even more.
Obviously, this blog as been part of my life for the last (almost) two years. I can’t express how much I’ve enjoyed writing and connecting with readers/other bloggers. There is sooooo much more for me to learn but I look at the unknown with excitement. I have plans for 2016 and I’m ready to get started.
I ran my first and second marathon in college. Let’s not talk about the supposed-to-be third. I trained for those marathons in Miami. I feel a sense of pride driving by my running paths and thinking “I put in a lot of hard work here.” Racing aside, it goes without saying that running has been a saving grace during tough times. Freshman year, when I didn’t know the area, I would just run until I found my way around, simultaneously relieving stress and anxiety.
I learned to cook in college. And by “cook” I mean make the basics while the occasionally experimenting. I feel 100x more comfortable in the kitchen than I did a few years ago, which says a lot. However, I’m still one to text my mom the most pointless and random cooking questions, just to make sure I’m doing it right. Food photography? Hopefully next year I can say I made strides!
There you have it. 3.5 years summarized in 800 words. I did actually learn a thing or two from my classes and about my major, but those are nothing compared to my personal growth. Oh, and the cooking thing…that’s probably the most important.
What didn’t I learn during college? How to kill bugs, fold laundry in a timely fashion, budget and eat almond butter in moderation. I guess there’s always room for improvement.