I’m just started my junior year of college. Halfway through. It’s all so surreal to me. This time last year, I was getting ready for the upcoming semester and filled with fear. My major’s application was posted, and even though I had 6 months to complete it, I was a nervous wreck. My whole life depended on this application – no, really. My career. My 5 year plan (of course I have one of those). My future path. Everything.
Now, I’m accepted into the program. With a tiny, TINY acceptance rate, I wasn’t feeling confident. I checked my school email everyday, waiting to see a message that decided my fate. At the beach with my family, I opened my inbox to see a “Congratulations!” and my next steps as a Public Health major. I cried.
This time last year, I was getting ready to throw myself into a new job; a nannying job that required me to wake up before the sun and work until it was almost set. I would be working with two boys, 4 and 2, who would change my life forever. I was settling into their routine, learning their schedules, and loving them tirelessly.
Now, I had to say goodbye to those two sweet boys in order to have more time for my major. I’ve accepted an internship with a health alliance that allows me to network and build a community around what I’m passionate about: teen pregnancy prevention. I’ll be working as a mentor, speaking to high school and middle school girls about the importance of having goals, keeping them, and believing that you have a future no matter where you come from.
This time last year, I was bored. I was sick of seeing the same old, same old. I was tired of my hometown. Tired of my home state. So, so eager to leave and get away, no matter where.
Now, I’m a month back from a trip to Africa, where I climbed the tallest free standing mountain in the world. Nothing compares to the feeling of looking out in the distance and seeing nothing but sky and nothing but space. Nothing compares to the time spent alongside a Maasai tribe. Nothing compares to the unconditional love that I felt, radiating towards me, filling my soul with goodness and restoring my faith.
This time last year, I was a shitty friend. I stretched myself thin. I chose boyfriend over girl friends. Constantly. I said yes too many times. To everything. I didn’t say no when it mattered the most. I didn’t stand up for myself when it mattered the most. I was a doormat. I was pretty blind. Now, I’m surrounded by close friends who love me and support me no matter what.
So I just started my junior year of college. The last two years have been bittersweet, and sometimes more bitter than the latter (if I can be honest), but I’m looking forward to this next one. I’m looking forward to taking classes and talking with teachers about what I love, traveling anywhere and everywhere on a whim, and hugging my friends every chance I get. If college so far has taught me anything, even if it’s cliche, it’s taught me to hold on to who you’ve got and live in the moment, because you’ll blink and you’ll all be off in different directions, wondering where time went.
Happy school year, y’all. This is gonna be good.