I can’t believe that this semester is nearing its end and that before I know it, I will be in my last semester as a student at Penn State. It pains me to even say those words! I am starting to feel the itch, though, to get out into the real world beyond the State College bubble and start to make a difference working in an area that I enjoy. It feels like both forever ago and just yesterday that this semester was beginning, and since that time back in August, I have learned many valuable things about myself and others that I know I will be taking with me far past my time at this university.
It’s okay to drift.
There are some friendships that I had steadfastly maintained since early freshman year that have become more distant just in this one semester. There are many factors at play that cause this – differing schedules, changing friend groups, convenience, diverse interests, etc. – and though it is sad to look back at what once was and realize that it isn’t anymore, I have to recognize that this is natural. As the years tick on and my network of friends expands and changes, it’s impossible to keep up all relationships in the same way. That doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate what we shared and continue to share, and the memories will never rot.
I have to say no sometimes.
I wrote a different blog post about this a little while back, but it’s important to emphasize again because this is a lesson that has been ever-present this semester. It’s a lesson I have begun learning in both my academic and personal life. When it comes to group projects, I’ve always been the kind of person to take on more than I should so that I know that it will get done. But this semester, with the ample group projects that require far more work than a single person would be able to accomplish, I need to be better at trusting others to pull their weight and be able to say no when I feel as though I already have too much on my plate. As for my personal life, there are plenty of times when I commit to doing things just because I want to make others happy or because I don’t want to miss out. This semester, I have really been trying to focus on what it is that I want to do and understand that if I say no to this or that, it won’t ruin any relationships or make me less of a friend.
And I mean all kinds of love. I feel love and support from my family every single day. My dad texts me how proud he is of me and gets emotional every single time we have to say good-bye. My mom is my hero – she does more for me than anyone else in this world, always there to give me advice, answer my questions, or just listen to me vent whenever I need to. My friends are constant. I feel so happy knowing that there will always be someone around to laugh with, watch movies and drink wine with, and have deep chats with. I will miss my friends dearly when I leave Penn State, but I know that the connections I’ve made here will extend far past graduation. And then there’s Corey. I’m not sure how I can put into words the impact that he has had on me over the past year, but I will say that he has made me fall in love with myself at the same time that I fell in love with him. I never knew that a love like this would come with so much support, reassurance, trust, joy, and fun. He brought me out of a funk and made me the happiest version of myself.
Here’s to a final semester of learning as much as I can!