What Junior Year Has Taught Me (so far...)

I am currently sitting at home, waiting for final grades to come and checking my student account like a crazy person (I am still waiting on two more grades!!) But I wanted to take some time to reflect on the last 4ish months aka my FIFTH semester of college.

Excuse me while I cry about the fact that I only have three semesters of undergrad left... While I am most definitely sad, I am more confused because I have no idea where the time went. It feels like just yesterday that I was crying over my honors American Lit grade my freshman year because my grade got messed up. Pro tip: Get to know your professors just in case you need to email them, begging them to fix your grade.

Quick Overview
I think this was probably my best/favorite semester out of the five. I absolutely loved my classes because I not only had amazing professors but my classes challenged me, and I could feel myself growing as a student, which was fun. I am in what is considered the third phase for my public relations major and then I am finally taking marketing classes that are more relevant to what I am interested in. Mentally, I had a better semester than I've had in a while. I won't lie and say that I was 100% okay, 100% of the time. Fall and winter are still hard seasons for me mentally, and I struggled with some personal changes that come along with growing up. Minus a few emotional breakdowns. I feel like I am in a way better place than I was this time last year.

What I Learned

1. Friendship doesn't mean seeing each other every day. 

This year I chose to live in the Theta house, which I have absolutely loved. I am a 5-10 minute from all of my classes. I don't have to shop for groceries, and I got to live with one of my littles for a semester (she's studying abroad in the spring :( ). However, this was the first semester I haven't lived with/or within walking distance of my best friend and roommates from freshman year, and the adjustment was difficult. There were definitely moments where I regretted not living with them this year and where I felt left out because they were off doing their own stuff. But I realized about halfway through the semester that even though we are living in different places and don't see each other every day, we are still friends. Maintaining our friendships is a little harder because I don't live with them, but you don't have to see your friends every day to still be friends with them. 

While it's been hard, it's also been a nice preparation for being an adult because who knows where my friends and I are going to be in two years? I highly doubt that any of us are going to be in the same city. We won't see each other every day as adults, but we'll still be friends. 

2. Junior year of college is a lot like junior year of high school. 

My junior year of high school was easily the worst year of high school, and while I loved this semester, there are so many similarities between the two years. I think there's something about being considered an "upperclassmen" and realizing that the thing you've been doing for going on three years is coming to an end soon. Classes definitely get harder and more important during this year, and while you are no longer talking about what college you are applying to, you are talking about jobs/internships and graduate school, which is definitely more stressful than applying for college.

3. Good things come to those who don't give up. 

We've all heard the phrase "good things come to those who wait," and while I think that's partially true, I've never been one for waiting. You know that scene from Parks and Rec when Tom orders something and he says, "But this is America! I want it now"? That describes my personality pretty well. So I think I like the phrase "good things come to those who don't give up" a little better.

I have talked a lot about learning how to fail since I've come to college, and it's something I am slowly becoming more comfortable with, especially this year. I failed tests, and when I say failed, I mean an actual 50 on a test. I didn't get positions I felt I was qualified for.

While I wallowed for a while, especially after not getting those positions, I decided to not give up on myself. I realized I didn't get those positions because I had other things in store for me, including another amazing leadership opportunity and a chance to do on-campus research. I may have gotten a 50 on a test, but I worked my butt off to get a B+ in that class and to get A/A+s in all my other classes in order to maintain my GPA. None of those things would have happened if I gave up on myself instead of pushing through to keep trying.

4. Do what you love right now, not what you loved five years ago. 
    This is the absolute BIGGEST thing I learned this semester because...I changed my mind on what I want to do with my life. I'll casually mention this to one of my friends, and they're shocked because it seems like for the last seven years, I have only talked about working in a certain field. But recently I came to the realization that working in that field isn't exactly what I want to do. At least right now. I don't want to rule anything out in the future because who knows where I'll be in 10 years, but I know right now that it is not what I want to pursue right after I graduate.

    I was looking over my resume and thinking about what I've loved doing over the last three years, and it all pointed to working in student affairs. Right now I don't really have a clear idea of what that looks like in 2 years, except for I know I'll be going to grad school after I graduate, but I am really excited about what the future holds.

    I am so grateful for another semester at Bama, another undefeated regular season and an SEC Championship. While I am extremely happy to be on break for a month, I already miss my friends and campus.
    xx, jKm

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