4 Years Later...

I guess I don't really have to say this, but this is not how I thought I would finish my senior year. It's not how any senior thought they would finish their senior year. The last ~six~ weeks have been weird. I left school on March 12th, pretty much knowing that I wouldn't come back to school, but I stayed hopeful aka I left some stuff at Theta but brought most of it home. And it quickly went from bad to worse, and Alabama announced that we would be online for the rest of the semester and commencement would not go on as planned. I lost my last two dates parties. Research presentations. Graduation pictures. Senior chapter and senior celebrations. Honors Day. Graduation itself. *cue me crying every day of my extended spring break* I know that my senior year being cut short is not the end of the world, especially compared to people dealing with MUCH bigger issues, but it was hard because we got the notice we wouldn't be going back at all while we were on spring break. There was no last hurrah with all my friends, and there was no real time to say goodbye to Tuscaloosa. I did get to say some goodbyes but didn't get all of them. But it wouldn't be the end of the semester without my end of the semester blog post, and it wouldn't be the end of the year without a blog post. And I truly don't think I could leave the University of Alabama without reflecting on every aspect of these four years.


Play for four, stay for 3.625 because of a global pandemic!!

Relevant Blog Posts: First Semester and Freshman Year Reflection

Rereading those posts from freshman year is interesting. I was such a baby when I was a freshman, but I felt like I was an adult. I could have sworn I knew exactly what I was doing. It's also weird because I still remember every moment like it was yesterday. I would never say my freshman year was perfect. It was far from it. Like I said in those posts, freshman year was emotionally draining for me (not as much as sophomore year but I didn't know that yet). I didn't really feel settled for the whole year, and it took me a while to feel like I found my place. I loved my friends, my sorority, and my major, but I wasn't sure where I fit into it all. Something I've learned over the last four years is that it takes me a while to feel like "myself" in a situation. I tend to stay back until I can get a read on the rest of the people I am with/the situation I am in, which is not beneficial when you're a freshman. That was hard, but I was still incredibly happy, which is good. Yeah, there were stressful moments, and I cried about stupid things a lot, but I was happy. It was the first time where I felt emotionally drained, but I didn't feel super anxious on top of it.

Relevant Posts: Sophomore Year Reflections

Sophomore year was without a doubt the hardest year. I had some friendship issues on top of kind of a hard academic year. I officially added my marketing major and my history minor, so it was just a lot at once. Then on top of that I struggled hardcore with my mental health. I was incredibly depressed through most of my sophomore year. I spent a lot of time in my apartment, especially those first few months, and I withdrew from my friends which didn't help the issues that were already there. (Moving out of your dorm and into an apartment is a weird transition.) But for the first time, I took control of my own mental health. I went to the health center, got on medicine, and went to therapy. It was hard, and I had bad days and some really bad days, but I also got through it with the help of some incredible people. My best friends were so supportive, and I can't explain how much they helped me get through the year. I am truly lucky to have the people I have in my corner because I wouldn't have survived these four years without them.

Sophomore year wasn't all bad and all about my mental health. I got two amazing littles. I joined the ambassador team for the college of communication. I fell more in love with my PR major, and I was (mostly) happy about my decision to add marketing. I spent a second summer working the college's summer camp and met some of my favorite people. I felt like I was finding my footing at school even though I was still a little unsure at some parts. But boy OH boy was I glad for it to end.

Relevant Posts: What Junior Year Has Taught Me (so far...) and Junior Year Recap

Junior year was either my favorite or my second favorite year of college. I finally felt like I knew what I was doing and who I was. There were moments that were hard like always. I struggled not living near and/or with Emma, Carson, and Lota for the first time. I failed A LOT of tests this year (shout out to Operations Management and Media Law), and it was a hard year academically. There were times where I felt like all I was getting was rejection after rejection from things I applied to. I also completely changed the direction my life was going in. If you DIDN'T know, for the first two years of college, I wanted to work in sports PR. It was my absolute dream and had been since I was in high school. But as first semester went on, I had more and more doubt about this path. I no longer felt sure in the path I had picked for myself. Then in November, it all hit me. I wanted to work in higher ed and student affairs, something I had never thought about as a career before, but it made sense. As someone who always has a plan for their life, it was scary to pivot to something new, yet I was so excited about it because I knew this was the right choice. 

I also had a lot of fun this year. I was still best friends with people I was friends with since freshman year, but I met so many new people. My grandlittles are some of the best people in the world, and I love both of them so much. I somehow adopted a group of freshmen that challenged me in the best way possible (and caused most of my anxiety but they know that). I absolutely loved my role as an ambassador for the college. Sure, there were moments of rejection after rejection, but it was filled with moments that helped make me who I am. 

Relevant Posts: Growing Up is Scary

Ahhh. Senior year. If I could relive one year, it would be this one for sure. I loved this year more than anything, but there are things I would do differently, especially if I had known it would be cut short. I guess that's how life is, and why people are always saying "hindsight is 20/20." I would have spent more time with my friends. Said yes to more Wine Wednesdays with my roommate. Spent a little less time studying and more time at our favorite bar. But overall, I had so much fun in my senior year. But it was stressful...don't get me wrong!! First semester was filled with grad school applications and school while second semester was filled with grad school decisions on top of two capstone courses. I missed a lot of school this year, which makes not getting those last six weeks even harder. During first semester, I missed a lot of school because there were two family weddings, and then this semester, I basically was gone for five weekends in a row with grad school visits, a class trip, and a trip home. I was going to use the last six weeks of school to spend as much time with my people as possible, and then suddenly it was gone.

But I am incredibly grateful for the time I did have. My Theta family expanded by two with the additions of my great-grandlittles. I celebrated the 21st birthdays of so many of my friends. I got to live with someone who I now consider one of my best friends and live within steps of most of my best friends and one of my littles. The ambassador team this year became some of my closest friends, and I continued to get closer to people and find more of "my people." Then I decided on a grad program!!! While this year was cut short, and I will always wish I had those last few weeks, I loved senior year so much.

What a weird four years, huh? But it was an incredible four years, and I am so lucky to say that I am an alumna of the University of Alabama. I can't wait to see what the future holds at THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA over the next year! Then after that, hopefully a job?? I know the next few months will be weird as I transition to grad school, but I am excited to start classes online in June and (hopefully) move to a new place in the fall. Here's to the next great adventure!

Roll Tide, forever, and Wahoowa!
xx, jKm 

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