7th Semester In Review – Fall 2020

my 7th semester of college is officially over. i have only ONE more semester left until my undergraduate experience is officially done. soon, i’ll be crossing the stage (if circumstances allow) with my b.a. in international relations & global studies and my b.b.a. in supply chain management – and to me, that reality seems so weird, seems so far, seems so unreal. but, it’s not. it’s the truth. it’s the real. it’s my life. after i graduate in the spring, i’ll be starting a real 9-5 job, and now i’m sifting through papers, trying to figure out what 401k matching means. trying to figure out what it means to be an adult. trying to figure out how to navigate through corporate america. it feels weird and wild to write that.

but… this is life. i always say life isn’t linear, but it feels like it is – because one day you’re just a baby, then you grow into a child, a pre-teen, a teenager, a young adult, an adult, and then a senior. but it’s also not linear because we all go through different highs and lows within in these phases of time.

and so, this phase of time – my 7th semester of college. i’m astounded and truly shocked by how much i have changed and transformed over the past 3.5 years. i started college with a lot of self-doubt and self-hate. i didn’t know my worth, i didn’t honor myself, and i didn’t know what self-compassion was. and now, through twists and turns and highs and lows – i’ve discovered a lot about myself. i’m not as small as i thought. i can do all and i can do nothing – and my choice is my choice. i’ve also realized how much i have done. i used to never celebrate my moments – but these days, and throughout college, i learned to. even if it was just surviving a monday, that’s an accomplishment – and that deserves a cookie.

so, more specifically, what did it feel like to experience a fully virtual educational experience? it was hard. incredibly hard. i am an interactive learner. i love waking up, getting dressed, walking to class, sitting in a lecture hall, seeing my professor, and experiencing my environment. i’ve realized that my environment does impact me – and being at home just didn’t feel like school. the zoom fatigue and lack of motivation i felt was very real. and it was weird – i’m not normally so nonchalant about school, but i actually spent my weekends relaxing and just did my work as it came. i no longer planned excessively and stressed about exams. i just tried my best. and i’ve learned that – trying my best is all i can do.

this was supposed to be my hardest semester of undergrad. i was taking all of my hard classes and maximum course units, but somehow it all worked out perfectly. i didn’t make the perfect grades i strive for, but i learned a lot and i didn’t do terrible – but receiving my first B in college is definitely something new. but, the funny thing is – i didn’t care. in the past, a B would make me cry and feel this point of devastation, but i didn’t really care. i wasn’t mad or upset. it is what it is. i tried my best.

i think this represents my mental health and my mindset. the beginning of the pandemic threw me down a hill of immense anxiety. never in my life was i so afraid and debilitated by intrusive thoughts. and i still don’t know why i felt that way. i’m generally a happy person, and i don’t ever feel so trapped in my head, but back in may and june, i felt so broken. but, today, i’m not even slightly that person. i do have bad days. but i’ve found that the best way for me to manage the stresses of every day life is pausing and going on a long walk. and that’s what i do. it doesn’t matter if i have a meeting or a deadline, if i feel bad, i am going to leave it all and just go for a long walk outdoors. and it changes my mood and mindset dramatically. today, i’m content. uncertainty looms near always, but i’m learning to embrace it and honor it. and i like that. i like this new sense of liberation i’ve found within myself.

i was also disappointed at the beginning of this semester because i wasn’t sure how i would maintain my friendships, but it’s weird, despite being virtual and physically far from people, i was still able to strengthen my friendships – and even develop new ones. things work out in unexpected ways.

and that is what my 7th semester of college taught me. i think a combination of experiences has brought me here, but this 7th semester was special. it was about family dinners. facetime calls. drive through coffee runs. long walks. late nights. lots of memories – and i created all of them from the comfort of my bedroom (did i mention i moved during the pandemic? what a wild time!).

now i’m in my winter break – and it’s my last winter break! i’m not sure what to do with this idle time, but i know these next couple of weeks will be about baking, books, and a bunch of other things that bring me joy. it’s time to log off zoom for a short while and look through the window. this is life. my life. my journey. my story. thank you for being a part of it. ❤

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