Dear first semester,
You kicked my butt. While my grades aren’t horrible, they’re the lowest they’ve ever been. Honestly, I came in thinking it would be a sweep just as high school was, but you proved me wrong. You taught me that I will spend days on end not walking out of Java House due to the workload my major brings me. You taught me that I can’t go a day without caffeine if I want to be productive but also to squeeze in time at the gym no matter what. You taught me that I can’t do everything on my own, I will have to ask for help from time to time. You brought many highs, many lows, and many moments in between. It’s been real – real as in you’ve taught me a lot.
In these last few months, so much has happened. I feel like I just moved into Hillcrest and was introducing myself to my neighbors. How did time move so fast? Did this semester even happen? Many lessons were learned, new friendships were shaped, old ones reinforced, said goodbye to some important people, and experienced many new things.
I began counting down the days for college ever since I was a junior in high school. I was ready to be out of the small town I grew up in and finally become the individual I wanted to be – not the person others expected me to be. Things have changed however. The most important lesson I learned my first semester is that home isn’t a place for me – it’s the people I surround myself with. Home is where my family and friends are. Wherever I end up, it’ll all be okay as long as I’m with people who I love and love me in return. I still don’t know where I’ll end up. Maybe I’ll be back in the small town I grew up in or maybe I’ll move across the country. Wherever home may end up to be, I’m confident that it’s the place I was meant to be at.
Another thing you’ve shined light on is who my true friends are. I knew I would make a lot of new friends coming into college, but I never expected to have a big group of such amazing friends who are always going to have my back. It’s crazy because I feel closer to some of the girls and guys I met just four months ago than some people I’ve known my whole life. Thank you for reminding me what real, pure friendships are. And although it hurt saying goodbye to some, breaking off toxic friendships, and leaving some important people behind, it all worked out in the end. I’m still close to the people I was meant to stay close with from back home, and I love each one of them profusely.
And lastly, although there were many many many nights where I would break down and cry due to all the stress and work, it’s been worth it. I’ve never felt as accomplished as I do finishing my first semester of college. So first semester, thank you for everything. Now that you’re over, I can truly say I haven’t felt as happy as I do in a such long time. I’m so excited to see what next semester will unfold. Iowa City, you think you’ve seen the best of me but you have a whirlwind coming for you.