End of Semester Reflections

Depending when you read this I’m either studying, taking my last final exam or on my way home for break. Let the holidays finally begin!

Having a blog has turned out to be pretty useful. If I need to find out what I ate the week of July 15th, I can just scroll through my old posts and find out (most likely chicken and sweet potatoes). If I want to know what the weather was like 27 days ago (because I somehow always talk about it), I can click back 27 days. If I want to remember what I was thinking before the semester started? You guessed it, blog to the rescue.

While I may have a good memory, I tend to remember facts and not feelings. I remember what I wore on the first day of every year of school. I remember who I sat next to in class. I remember what I had for lunch. But I don’t remember how I felt. I don’t remember any anxiety or excitement. I don’t remember my fears at the time.

If I didn’t have this blog I might have generalized my thoughts pre-semester as “nervous, excited and dreading the work.” Yet I know my feelings were so much more complex. I have proof that they were.


Heading back to Miami in August

I was dreading the transition back to college. Transitions of any kind are really hard for me, but I especially hated leaving my family and going back to Miami. I was very restless, anxious, lost and even embarrassed because I was a junior feeling all of this. In the beginning I kept myself busy with activities to try to distract from the pain and I constantly wanted to escape. Four months later, I’m so glad I didn’t. 

As the semester progressed I fell into a routine and instead of fearing downtime, I welcomed it. I came to terms with the fact that Miami is where I go to school and it doesn’t mean I’m stuck here forever. I learned that I don’t have to be one of those people who says “college was the best 4 years of my life.” This is just a stepping stone for better things. With one year left (I graduate a semester early), I’m excited for my future. I have things I want to accomplish during my time left in Miami that don’t involve receiving a diploma, although that is at the top of my list. I’m not expecting the last year to be easy by any means, but I think I have the tools to make the adjustments easier.


But for now, I’m very happy to be adjusting back to living at HOME. This one should come pretty easy to me. Bring on the home cooked meals and naps on the couch.

Do you remember feelings or facts?


Well, I’m back in Miami and let’s just say it hasn’t been the most seamless transition…but I wasn’t expecting it to be. I’m not going to lie and say I’m excited to be back, but I’m also not going to complain about my situation or dwell on my homesickness. Transitions of any kind are very hard for me, always have been. I have gotten a lot better at handling change, but it’s still not something I look forward to. However, in the process of my earlier transitions I’ve developed a toolkit per se of coping mechanisms. It takes me some time to remember those tools, but once found, it helps me adjust.


This is how I’ve kept myself busy the last few days…

-I’m fortunate enough to have an older cousin live close by, so instead of staying in bed, I’ve made plans to hang out with her.

-I organized the apartment with my new roommates (who are awesome!).

-I organized and cleaned my own room.

-I painted my bathroom (a very subtle grayish/blue. Just what I wanted, but man was that a full day project!)





-I bought a candle for my room that makes me feel warm and cozy.

From Bath & Body Works

From Bath & Body Works

-I went running.

-I went to the supermarket…a few times.

But more than activities, I’ve been trying to focus on the good. Change of mindset is much more powerful than a change of scenery.

I may be missing home and dreading long days on campus, but there is so much good in my life. It just took me a little time to find it. Primarily, I’m getting an invaluable education. I have some career opportunities that are more than just “resume-fillers.” I live in a very comfortable apartment with great people. I’m continuing to learn how to live on my own and solve both everyday and abnormal problems (**not sure which category ‘millions of dead ants in my room’ falls under). I may still text my mom all the time (sorry mom, probably won’t stop) but I’m getting more comfortable living alone and finding things to enrich my days.

I know I won’t always live far from my family (please, I hope one day to live only a short run away LOL), but for now I’m doing the best where I am. Finding happiness from within and reminding myself that my life is pretty darn good.

How do you handle transitions?

To Nervous Students Starting College…

In all honesty, I was never “dying” to graduate from high school. I had my moments of excitement but after moving many times throughout my life, I finally felt settled. It was hard for me to understand why so many of my friends couldn’t wait to leave because I loved my life. Not that I ever like change, but the transition to college was especially hard for me. After a year of riding high, I hit a deep low. I craved the comfort of home and high school. The people I met at college were, for the most part, radically different from me and I felt lost. Freshman year was the most difficult year of my life and I couldn’t picture surviving that year, let alone any more.

Move-in day freshman year. I cried right after this…

Freshman year dorm

But here I am, entering my junior year of college. I’ve (obviously) survived and I’ve matured in more ways than I ever imagined. I’m nowhere near fully mature (are we ever?) but I’m incredibly proud of the progress I’ve made in just two years. From the 17-year-old crying in her dorm room to the 19-year-old writing this post, I’ve come a long way. On Friday I wrote about looking back and seeing how much has changed since then. While it sounds like rainbows & butterflies now, I feel for those people who aren’t jumping with joy about starting college or are worried about what’s to come. I just want to be that little ounce of hope for people struggling that says “it’s OK.” 

It’s OK to miss home

It’s OK to not find a group of friends right away

It’s OK to prefer a low-key movie night to going out to a club/bar

It’s OK to get lost on campus

It’s OK to feel lost

It’s OK to text your mom more than anyone else (she’s my lifeline)

It’s OK to have a laundry-malfunction and cause a little flood (not like I did that or anything…)

It’s OK if you’re an introvert (I know it’s tough in a world of extroverts)

It’s OK to not “hook-up” with random people or enjoy the party scene

It’s OK to struggle with classes at first. It takes some time to learn each professor’s teaching style…everyone is different.

It’s OK to cry, to ask questions, to be sad/happy/excited/scared/overwhelmed/tired/confused/whatever

it will be ok


From the outside it always looks like people are super happy, successful and have their lives together. Just know that is not always the case. Some people do a good job at putting on a front and hiding their true emotions while others simply have an easier time adjusting to college life. There are tons of people who actually are excited to start college, and probably most students are. But just know that if you’re not one of them, you’re not alone. It gets easier. You get stronger. You find a routine. You take advantage of the amazing opportunities college has to offer. You enjoy the freedom.

It is most certainly an adjustment, but one you can handle.

College students/graduates: how was your adjustment freshman year?

Incoming freshman: any thoughts?