Friday, May 9, 2014

End of the Year Reflection



I am currently sitting in my empty dorm room finishing off this post. I moved into this place in the same condition as it is today, yet everything is completely different. When I first stepped foot into 604, I was a terrified 17 year-old who wasn't ready to meet the three strangers that she would be living with for the next year. I was afraid to leave my family and sleep in a room that didn't feel like it belonged to me.

For the first month, no matter how I decorated my room, I didn't feel comfortable. I felt alone and scared. Despite this, I tried my best to get on. I did my work, I read and listened to a lot of music, and I tried to force myself to assimilate. This is when I began to wander around the city and find the hidden gems that I continued visiting. It took time, but I became comfortable with the city, and with myself. It might be cliche to think of college as this, but I feel like when I moved away from home, I was planted as a bulb in Cleveland. It took some time, but eventually, I started to bloom into the person that I was before I temporarily transformed into a scared and timid freshman.

I have loved every single second I spent here for my first year of college, even if it didn't feel like it. My year wasn't wild or scandalous, but it was perfect just the same. I've learned a lot about people this year, and even more about myself (see: my hatred for cargo pants and fire alarms). College is a learning experience, and not just academically. You learn some tricks of the trade, whether you commute or are a residence on campus.

It is incredibly weird to think that I'm going to have almost four months away from Cleveland. I'm both relieved and saddened, but I am not quite sure which I feel more. No more Starbucks whenever I want, or Indians games when I'm feeling bored. No more walks to the water front and people watching at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. No roommates to laugh out in the living room with until our chests start to hurt. No more cute boys in classes or running after the RTA buses.

On the flip side, this also means that I get to see my family every day again, and my grandparents weekly. I get to play childish games with my nieces and nephew and watch my brother learn how to drive. I can see my friends again (hi guys!) and finish our restaurant bucket list and do and say stupid things that we won't let go. I can read until 3 in the morning without worrying about an assignment. Most importantly, I can cuddle with my dog (#priorities).

I truly feel bad for those who live in the past and don't let themselves enjoy college. You are not there solely to get a degree. You are there to live and learn. You can make mistakes and celebrate your successes. You can have a great time and have great success. College is what you make of it. Might as well make it the best.

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