My Freshman Year of College: An Open Door {or Window}

As my freshman year of college is about to come to a close, I feel like I have the responsibility to document what has happened over the past year. I read so many blog posts like this before I started college, so this is me returning the favor.

I remember just like it was yesterday what I was doing this time last year: studying for my senior finals, thinking about graduation, awaiting the arrival of the yearbooks that I helped to create, planning for graduation and the summer that would follow as I looked forward to arriving at Harding in the fall. Now I look back as I sit in my dorm room remembering the first day I walked into this room - the blank, boring dorm room that it was. Now it is a room that I have called my second home for almost 10 months.

The stereotypical adventures and experience of college is no understatement. I came to college someone different than I am today. I have met so many new people and taken part in so many memories and opportunities that it is almost impossible to think this all has happened in less than a year right alongside completing 33 credit hours, working on the Petit Jean Yearbook Staff and becoming a contributor for the 501 LIFE magazine over these past two semesters.

I'm not sure who this post is for really. It is partly for me to get all my thoughts into words which is how I cope, communicate and make most big decisions that come and go. It is partly for the people that knew me before I began the first year of my Harding experience, people who watched me grow up and those who walked alongside me and helped me become who I am before we split paths. But it is also for the people I have met since I moved into Sears 239 last August.

I am trying to think of one thing that I have learned this year that stands above the rest. So many lessons come to mind. I have experienced so many things, and I honestly feel that I have changed. I'm not exactly sure how to put it into words, the things I have experienced and learned over my freshman year. I have learned what it means to be myself. I have learned what it means to make my own decisions. I have learned I truly do feel better if I just sit down and let myself write about it. I have experienced joining a group of people who exemplify what I want to become (shout out to Delta Gamma Rho). I have experienced finding "my people" amongst a campus full of strangers and acquaintances. I have learned what it means to do what you love and find yourself in a passion and hobby that could become your life. I have learned the importance of holding onto the people who care about you most; it's your responsibility. Not theirs. I have tried to learn what it means to be there for someone. I have tried to make it a goal to make every day good enough to be your last. I have learned what it means to let yourself have an adventure. In reality there is no amount of words that can truly summarize or explain what I have truly learned and experienced over my freshman year.

To those who are soon starting college, don't take a single moment for granted. Go on every weird or crazy adventure that comes up. Have a late night conversation in your dorm room even though you were planning on going to bed early (which is probably what you would've called late in high school). Take time for yourself. Stop and notice things going on around you. Make relationships. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there; someone will probably appreciate it. Be yourself always.

I feel like maybe this blog post is a bunch of random incoherent and incohesive thoughts, but maybe it will make sense to someone. Sometimes the sit-down-on-a-whim and write creations are the most true-to-self things you can say. So there it is.

If one door closes, another one will open. If not there may be a window to climb through. Persevere and never give up. Follow your dream, no matter how crazy it is. Maybe a year from now you will end up with your own blog and a sappy blog post about your freshman year of college, and you probably won't regret a single bit of it.