It’s time for midterms yet again. Gone are the long summer days spent relaxing in the sun and hanging with friends. It’s time to go back to the books and back to stressing out over classes. Because I am now a sophomore, I wanted to look back at my previous year, and see how much I have grown since then. I learned many lessons through trials and tribulations. Here are four of the major lessons I learned last year:

  • Go out and do everything you want to do, even if it seems daunting at the time.

As a freshman thousands of miles from home, I knew I needed to create a home away from home. My first semester I was extremely homesick, I had attempted to put myself out there a bit, but I didn’t click with anyone I had met so far. So, when Panhellenic recruitment came around, I almost didn’t join. Why would I want to try something yet again to figure out it wasn’t for me? However, everyone I met had such great experiences being in a sorority, all saying it was one of the best things they did during college. So, I figured I would try again because I could always quit if I didn’t like it. Who would’ve known how big of an impact on my life that would have? I met my best friends during recruitment and after I joined Tri Delta. I found sisters, who are always there to comfort me when I’m feeling down from missing home, and who make me excited to go to UD events like football games and UDance. My sorority truly is my home away from home and makes me want to become the best person I can be. 

  • You can’t always do everything alone.

I learned this lesson the hard way.  For me, Chem103 was an absolute nightmare. I hadn’t ever really struggled with classes as much as I did then. I was used to just putting in the effort and getting good results. However, with chemistry, this wasn’t the case. I didn’t get it, and because of that, I avoided studying. This turned into bad test scores, and instead of going and getting the help I needed, I thought I could solve the issue on my own. While I ended up passing the class, it wasn’t the grade I wanted, and I knew that if I did more I could’ve done better. So, when It came around to take the next chemistry class, I dedicated myself to it. When I had questions, I asked the TA or teacher for help, when I had a test coming up, I prepared ahead of time, not just the night before. When I got back my tests, my results paid off greatly. That lesson continues to be extremely important as I head into harder classes such as organic chemistry and microbiology.

  • Don’t be afraid to use UD’s resources.

This goes along with my second lesson, however this has to do with me personally, rather than my academics. In my second semester of freshman year, I was dealing with depression, due to some events in my life that had affected me. It was more than just not wanting to go to class, I felt like I couldn’t even get out of bed and go. Even though I was getting more involved and therefore should have been happier, I just felt nothing. It got to the point where I knew if nothing was going to change, I was going to have to drop out of UD and go back home, which I knew wasn’t the solution. So, I went to UD’s Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) and scheduled an appointment with a counselor. After meeting with them for the rest of spring semester, I was able to pull my grades up and start going back to class. While I knew there were many different resources to help students here, I didn’t think that anyone used them and that asking for help would be strange and difficult. However, after making that first step to use the services provided, I realized how important they were and how, even though it may seem strange or embarrassing at the time, there are so many other students that may feel the same way. I never would have recovered from the hardest period in my life without the CCSD, and I wouldn’t be where I am today, enjoying what I’m doing and thriving in my classes.

  • Enjoy the process, don’t just focus on the results.

My whole life, I’ve always been planning for the next step. When I was in high school, I was already thinking about where I should go to college and what I would do next. Because of this, I feel like I didn’t enjoy myself as much as I could have. I stressed over things that don’t matter and didn’t branch out and enjoy the process of growing up. Now as a sophomore in college, I realize that while the future is important, so is the present. While I can’t stop myself from thinking about medical school, and what I need to do to achieve my dreams, my whole life is no longer just focused on that. Many people say that college is supposed to be the best years of your life, and while that may not be the case for everyone, and may not feel true to me right now, I want to slow down and do things that I know will make me happy, not just things that I have my whole life to think about.

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