Dear Sophomore Year

4:52:00 AM

It is 7:29 on Tuesday morning and I am sitting outside of my academic building where I will take one of my last final exams of my sophomore year. That's insane. The feeling is familiar yet how I felt at the end of my freshman year is so very different.

I have never before grown so personally and internally than throughout the course of these past 10 months. Sophomore year turned my world upside down. The red carpet was not rolled out for me like it was my freshman year. I discovered that you will one day have to find your own path, and whether that path remains on that smooth and flat red carpet or veers on to a dirt path, it is up to you to recognize it and either change it or follow it. I followed it. 

I feel like I can relate my journey to a dirt trail, which is ironic, as I have spent most of my free time among the Appalachian Mountains.  But the reason I would label this year's journey as one of rough terrain is because, in the beginning of the year, life was rough. Not to be dramatic, but to be is not always glamourous.  Things were not what I expected nor what I had hoped for as a sophomore in college. I was struggling to balance school with social life, I was working hard to make room for every person I know into my life, and I was unsure of every decision I was making as I began truly working toward my future and life after college. 

But I figured it out. I've realized that finding balance is a life practice and though I may never grasp it fully, I will gain my balance with every new day. I've learned that relationships end and people will move in and out of your life and that is OKAY. And, lastly, I've learned that living in the present is the most important step in working toward a better, happier, future. Wherever you are, be all there. 

So yes, the trail was steep, rocky, and unstable in the beginning, but upon figuring things out, I've worked my way to the summit.  I've picked up my feet and turned my eyes toward the sun. And the view from the top is so great. It is happiness. Accomplishment, bliss, and warmth is all there is now. 

So thank you sophomore year and thank you mountains. You have taught me more about myself than I could have ever learned in a classroom or have been told by someone else. I am so grateful for these past 10 months.

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