As the first week of my third year of undergrad has come to a close, I’m beginning to realize that this year feels a lot different than my previous two of college. First of all, how am I already a junior? It hit me that I’m halfway through and so much closer to my degree! That’s crazy to me. It seems like just yesterday I was starting college as a baby freshman who kind of knew what she wanted to be and where she wanted to go, and now I’m starting to get questions like “Where are you going to go after college, are you staying in Johnson City?” and “What exactly is it that you want to do in your field of study?” LET’S SLOW DOWN THERE. While I have some idea of where I want to go and who I want to be, I keep having to remind myself that a lot can change in my remaining two years. No isn’t necessarily the time to be making those decisions.
Despite the thought of graduation looming closer over my head, this year just feels different as a whole. I’m not sure if I’m just carrying more confidence being an upperclassman, but the start of the school year didn’t scare me (I’m talking first-day anxiety jitters) as much as usual. I didn’t feel the need to obsessively look at the class lists online ahead of time to find a familiar name or worry about my professors being sticklers. I went in knowing whatever was thrown my way I could handle, and I had a really good first day! At least, much better than a lot of other people at my university. I only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays (but that does mean an 8 am and staying way later than I’d appreciate) and on the Monday that the university actually opened, there was a lockdown due to a weapon on campus. I wasn’t there, but I was getting all of the alert texts and started texting all of my friends who were on campus to see if they were okay. It was definitely an interesting first day of the fall semester, but luckily no shots were fired and everything turned out okay. Aside from that craziness, the first week back went really well. All of my professors seem really nice & I’ve made friends in all of my classes where I didn’t know anyone & reconnected with some of my friends who are in the same program & class as me.
That being said, let’s set some goals for this year. Since this is my third year of college, I’m going to set three main goals.
1. Make the Dean’s List…again! YAY! One of my goals for the previous school year was to make the Dean’s List & I did. Now, I want to do it again. Especially since I now know that I can.
2. Join as many clubs & extracurriculars as possible. I’m really determined to get more involved on campus this year, and one way I see that happening is through clubs! I didn’t get to join very many clubs for the last two years because working retail meant most of my nights were booked. Now that I have a job with consistent hours where I get off work at 5 pm every day, I can actually do things in the evenings. Specifically, I want to get involved with a campus ministry and the club for my major. I haven’t decided which campus ministry yet, but I’ve got plenty of great options to try out!
3. Bring as much joy & positivity to my fellow students as possible. College is a tough time. It’s hard enough trying to stay on top of all of your assignments and studying, throw in working, trying to figure out who you are as an adult, and all the utterly crappy stuff that gets thrown at people and that pretty much describes college. We’re all just a bunch of kids figuring out how to become adults. We need constant encouragement & support to make it out somewhat sane! So, I want to be really intentional about lifting up those around me at school. It can be really easy to focus on my own assignments & issues, but it’s important to remember the impact you can make by taking a minute away from yourself to help a friend with an assignment or simply look up from your phone while walking from class to class and smile at someone. Nobody truly knows what other people are going through, especially in college, so being a light in the darkness is a powerful thing.
To all of those people reading this who are also returning to school, I wish you the best of luck. Remember to drink lots of water, make as many friends as possible, and study as hard as you can. Just do your best and have a good time! College is a time to make memories while figuring out who we are meant to be.
PS – Go Bucs!