Okay, WOW! This year has absolutely flown by. It seriously seems like just yesterday I was moving away from home for the first time, crying hysterically in the middle of Target because I didn’t wanna leave my momma, making a scene with my family during move-in day because my brother’s dog got loose in the middle of IU’s campus (of couuuuurse that would happen), and sleeping a total of thirty minutes the first night because I was too afraid to tell my roommate to turn off our Christmas lights. At times, it felt like this year would never end, and at times, it felt like I wouldn’t have time to do everything I wanted to do. But alas, I’m here, happily saying that I will never have to shower in a gross dorm with flip flops on ever again (yay!!!).
Looking back now, I can barely recognize the person I was back in August during move-in day. I’ve grown so much and I can honestly say, I am so happy of the person I have become. Yes, it is so okay to pat yourself on the back a lot, you’ve gotta believe in yourself before anyone else can believe in you!
A main reason for me starting my blog was to gather thoughts and memories of mine and share them with all those who care to read, while sprinkling in pieces of fashion, or advice, or anything of the sort. I love the fact that this blog has given me the push and drive to self-reflect more often, and that is exactly what I did as this year came to a close.
Without further ado — I present to you my sentimental. sometimes silly, but completely true list of 10 things I’ve learned my freshman year:
1- Explore, explore, explore
Explore everything — explore friends, explore classes, explore campus, explore town, explore clubs, explore. This is such a unique time in life where you are thrown into a situation completely new, with thousands of other people in the same boat as you. It would be a shame not to take advantage of having the world at your fingertips! Explore everything while remembering there is nothing to lose — you’ll end up finding some things ya really love.
2– Keep an open mind about everything
Don’t write anything or anyone off because you’re unfamiliar with it. College is all about exposing yourself to new adventures and adding experiences and knowledge to your playbook. Keep an open mind, try new things, and appreciate each experience for what it teaches you — either bad or good.
3- Don’t fret about failing
Failing gets a really bad rep, that’s gotta stop. Put yourself out there without the fear of failing; most often, failing teaches you more lessons than you could ever imagine in the first place. Reflect about what went wrong, make a new and improved game plan for next time, and go at it again even stronger than before.
4- Find what you’re passionate about and don’t give it up for anyone
Who knew going into college that I would fall in love with my Gender Studies course, become a die-hard feminist, then end up pursuing a minor in Media, Gender, & Sex. Not me, that’s for sure. Because of my exploring (see point 1!!), I was able to find my passion and make a plan of how to nurture it and help it grow throughout college. This is gonna come off really cheesy, but bare with me — finding that passion has seriously made me feel more complete. It has fueled me with ambition for a cause that’s bigger than myself. Finding those things your passionate about, those things that you don’t want to shut up about, those things that make your eyes sparkle and you smile from ear to ear, those things are what’s important. Find those things and never let them go.
5- Make a bomb resume
So, so, so important. Thank God for Phi Chi Theta for helping make my resume as bomb as it is — if you need a beautiful resume template, hit ya girl up, I’m very proud of mine.
6- Brand yourself, be confident with it, and don’t budge for anyone
Say hello to the inner Marketing major in me — find your brand. Whatever it may be — identify it, be confident in it, and run with it. For me, I want to be recognized for my creativity and leadership. I tackled these two attributes in two different ways — both of which received some pushback with, but that’s what makes ya grow!
I involved myself heavily in my business fraternity and managed to get chosen for an incredibly important leadership position. I’ve been warned that I’m being “too ambitious” (psh, what’s that?), but I persisted none-the-less. Leaving my impact on an organization that is bigger than myself is important to me, collaborating with others and leading us all to success is important to me, and no one is gonna stop me.
As for the creative aspect, I started this blog! Can I get a woohoo! I was embarrassed at first, I didn’t want people to think I was full-of-myself or think that I thought I was better than I was. Honestly, I have no clue what I’m doing, but I’m figuring it out as I go and I am loving it and that’s all that matters! If you follow me on Instagram (which you should!! shameless plug), you might realize that I’ve been utilizing it as more of a blogging tool lately — aka: lots of selfies. I was so torn on making this transformation for days: I didn’t want people to think I was conceited, I didn’t want people to get annoyed with me, I didn’t want to be judged. But you know what? Screw that. Love me or hate me, I’m doing what I love best and that’s all that matters in the end!
7- Find friends that become family
I couldn’t have done freshman year without my best friends. I couldn’t have even of done some days without our little jokes, traditions, and pep talks. When every single one of you is far from home, it is so incredibly important to find friends that become family for you. Whether it was walking down to the dining hall with me so I wouldn’t have to eat alone, or convincing me that the cinnamon ice cream I was scarfing down wasn’t that bad, or the tradition of opening our packages all together in one room, or helping me get my lazy butt to the gym, or letting me cry literally on their shoulders when I thought I failed my exam, or taking thousands of pictures of me for my blog, my friends have really become my extended family. My besties deserve a real big shout-out: here’s a big thank you to Annie, Amanda, the two Sarahs, and Jamie for becoming a part of my home-away-from-home. ❤
Annie: Thank you for sharing my love for Carbolite and for being able to communicate with me with just a glance. You make the best ice cream sundaes and you’ve help foster my newfound love for honey mustard!
Amanda: Thank you for being my personal photographer and taking thousands of pictures of me here. Thank you for letting me snuggle in bed with you and watch Shameless, and thank you for being my partner in crime! Can’t wait to be your roomie next year ❤
Sarah Africk: Thank you for being my literal shoulder to cry on. Thank you fueling so many of my passions and for always keeping life interesting, and for sharing my love for fun food!
Sarah Bell: Thank you for being as much of an instigator and smart-ass as I am. Life would be a lot more boring without our constant tough-love relationship! You’ve kept my head on straight and always managed to put a smile on my face!
Jamie: Thank you for always pushing me to be my best and for motivating me all the time! You are such a genuine friend and I can’t wait to call you my roomie!
8- Maintain relationships back at home
Maintaining friendships and relationships long-distance is no easy feat, but it is most definitely rewarding. Developing the ability to communicate despite the distance, stay close, stay connected, and see each other in person as if nothing has changed is a skill not many can acquire. It was so important and helpful to me to have a solid support system back home, and no one could ever replace them. It may take a little extra effort to maintain these relationships, but they’re worth every second.
9- Get out of your campus bubble every once in a while
It is so easy to forget that life exists outside of dining halls, bunk beds, textbooks, and shower shoes, but I believe (at least for me) that it is vital to get off of campus in order to not go insane. Bloomington has offered me some of the most beautiful views and experiences that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, and it sure was a treat spending days off getting to see them. I loved them so much that I dedicated an entire post to it, you can go read about it here.
…and last but not least:
10- Enjoy each and every second of it
Unpopular opinion: I’m really damn excited to be home for the summer. I don’t think I could ever love a school enough to not want to leave and come home. I mean, home is home! Home has my bed with two mattress pads, how could you not miss that? With that being said, freshman year really flew by. I’ve made some amazing memories, I’ve met some awe-inspiring people, I’ve had ab-inducing laughs, I’ve had my fair share of embarrassing moments, and I’ve felt lots and lots of love. I never want to live in a dorm ever again (literally, ever), but I will absolutely always enjoy looking back on the memories that I have made. It flew by in the blink of an eye, so make sure to enjoy every second of it.
That concludes it! I hope each and every one of you enjoys every bit of your summer, whether that be working or lounging. I’m making it my goal to become a more consistent blogger during my time off, so expect to see much more of me.
NECKLACE: Alice & Abby Rhinestone Crystal Acrylic Resin Statement Fashion Necklace Yellow (similar one, couldn’t find the exact!)
JEANS: H&M (only $10!)
CLUTCH: Large Envelope Tassel Accent Wristlet Clutch Bag with Chain Strap Brown (similar, not exact again!!)