I am now a few weeks into my second semester of college. Surprisingly, even to myself, I am somehow already academically considered a second-semester sophomore (yet I still have the heart of a scared, timid freshman). I am still adjusting, but it is a process.
My 2012 was actually a very eventful, triumphant, and challenging, but overall blissful year. In this post, I plan on describing 12 things I learned from 2012, and also 13 things I will teach 2013.
So, in no particular order:
1. I learned the value of things that aren't for sale. Last year, some of my resolutions were to "buy less useless shit" and "eat less junky shit" (at age 17, I thought it was cool and poetic to use curse words). I do however feel like I accomplished those goals, though in different ways. I still bought and used my fair share of non-essential items, yet I do feel stronger the weight of things such as time with family, determination, responsibility, patience, and homemade meals. I cherish those things (and many more) deeply since going off to college and being forced to grow up a bit. Also, although I certainly have not eaten healthier this year, I did learn my resolution concerning junky food the hard way. In fact, I earned myself ten pounds, in just one semester! That is not a terrific feat but very much an eye-opener to a previously quite thin girl. It is safe to say that I will be appreciating carrots and apples for a long while now.
2. I also learned probably the most valuable thing a person can learn under the Christian faith- who Jesus is, and what he sacrificed for all of us. I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior in August of this year, without much prior experience in church at all. It was a miracle, really! But beginning a relationship with Jesus Christ has really helped me handle things going on this last year, and that relationship makes me feel so much more confident about where my future is headed.
3. I learned that I will NOT be pursuing Accounting as a major, haha. Although I am now (upon the completion of last semester) a college sophomore, it is safe to say a business major is not the thing for me! I am still very much stuck on not only what I want to major in but also finding an overlap between what I enjoy/am good at and what I can make money from.
4. I learned that if you want something, you have to prepare for it. You absolutely cannot procrastinate- it leaves you in the same place you were before, but with probably a stronger desire now for that something that has passed. That is the story of how I did not submit to my school's literary magazine, how I did not get tickets to a concert, and many other things.
5. I learned that music and self-reflection still soothe. Ahh, I cannot describe to you how much Bon Iver and Mumford & Sons saved my late nights and gloomy city days at college.
6. I learned that where my home lies is where I love most honestly and dearly. Prior to this year, it felt as though it was just in Illinois, my birth state that I visit maybe a few weeks in a year. But this year it has transcended, finally to include Kentucky, even with its rural aspect and bumpy country roads. This also relates to people, in that I have been keeping up a long distance relationship with my boyfriend (... and my family... and all my friends that stayed home for college) since I went off to school. It has been hard, but it just feels so much stronger and hopeful when I return home.
7. I learned that good luck happens to good people! What I said about Accounting? I was really struggling in that class to get a good grade, despite hours of studying. I tried to be fair- not cheating like some other students did. I got a C on almost every single exam we took (which was about 12 or so). As a straight-A student in high school, I was literally the worst student in the class. But guess what? Somehow, I made it just enough to get an A. Either way, I am thankful and happy, and that teacher really did teach me a lot more than just Accounting.
8. I learned that sometimes you just need to give it up and ask for help. It is so so so much easier. This is related to Accounting mostly, but also a hard lesson I learned as a stubborn-as-can-be teenager, and a new devoted servant to God.
9. I learned that friends are great. It isn't a powerful revelation, but my older best friend (who goes to school with me now) literally helped me greatly with getting adjusted to college. He helped me despite my weirdness and lack of understanding, and even an awkward time I farted. I am so thankful that he was there to help me.
10. I learned that doing something for others is one of the most meaningful things you can do. I have not been too thrilled with my volunteering experience during college (as shown on my other blog), but I do see the bright side of volunteering in that it makes me feel better knowing I am working to make someone be or feel better. I hopefully will find a new site to love in this big ol' city, though.
11. I learned that sometimes you just have to love yourself. This was probably the hardest thing for me to learn, being away from home/my comfort zone in so many senses. I lost a friend in the process of learning to love myself, somewhere, somehow. But despite this sad loss, I can see that somewhere down the road this is going to allow me to be happier.
12. Finally, I learned that I had to return to this blog. I started a new personal blog, but man, that just did not work. I will not be that same person I was in prior years (although I have returned to feeling like a scared, shy freshman again). I refuse to let that happen. But you absolutely cannot shake off your roots. And although there are days (especially at 8AM) where I just do not want to put on makeup or get out of bed, I do it anyway, because I refuse to let myself do otherwise.
Now that those are over, here come my resolutions for 2013!
1. To obtain my full license. (I still desperately need to fulfill this one, being eighteen and not able to drive without a guardian. I will get it by May.)
2. To save up money (I will not spend it on every little thing I see, especially while at school.)
3. To not be afraid to go on an adventure. (I really, really, need to work on developing courage. I also really want to go to Quebec in the next year or so.)
4. To organize, and prioritize. (I will not make or leave my room as messy when I come home from school. I will choose between things more efficiently.)
5. To learn to make things. (I have always really wanted to know how to make things- pizza, baked goods, tables, knick-knacks. I will make stuff, but over the summer, when I have time.)
6. To get more comfortable with college. (I will make new friends, and try to not be shy.)
7. To worry less. (I have literally agonized myself, made myself sick, from anxiety and sadness wreaking its havoc on my body and spirit. No more.)
8. To eat healthier. (Every Monday, I will try not to eat meat, and to munch on more carrots and salads. I will eat a small breakfast every day.)
9. To spend less useless time online (less TV, but more learning, and getting myself out there.)
10. To develop my relationship with God. (I will go to Cru at college and church as much as I can, also meet with Kari, my discipleship mentor, as much as possible)
11. To take my dog on longer walks. (I will do so when I am home.)
12. To see Bon Iver in concert! Or even Mumford & Sons! (I have wanted to do this for a long time. I also hope to find another person who likes them as much as I do, though.)
13. To be more happier with me. (It's not a given of who I am, but I will be happy with what turns out. I also really need to find out what I am doing here in college, but I am letting God be my compass at this point, because I am quite clueless.)
So, happy New Year! May your goals be accomplished!
P.S. I have lately become obsessed with the Les Miserables soundtrack. Do You Hear the People Sing seems to rip the courage out of the depths of my heart, and suddenly I feel full of hope. I also feel much more "triumphant" while doing homework/reading.