Hey hi hello!
Happy holiday season, friends! It’s the best time of the year. The home-cooked meals get better, school’s off for breaks, the snow starts falling, and people seem a little cheerier. Well, okay, maybe not everyone, because this is also the time when midterms and finals grace us with their presence –– but I’m here to focus on the positives, people.
This is also the time when I start to think about all of my experiences this past year and what I am most thankful for. Isn’t reflection basically what half of the holiday season is about? I mean, that song about the boy buying his mom some Christmas shoes certainly isn’t played on the radio to get us all in the Christmas spirit. But back to my point –– I’ve come to realize just how fast time has gone by. Can you believe we’re almost done with our first semester? Crazy.
It’s also crazy how many things you can learn in just three months. Three months at UW-Madison have taught me almost more about who I am as a person than all of my seventeen (and a half) years at home did. The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is how to be totally comfortable with who I am. It’s easy for me to compare myself to the people around me. Back home, I was used to all of the people in my day-to-day life; I grew up with most of them. At a large school like this, there are so many different types of people I’ve never met before. It’s exciting, but all of the comparing can be devastating. Being totally and unshakably confident and comfortable is not an easy thing to do. I’ll admit, even I don’t have it perfected yet. It’s a work in progress though, and I think that’s what counts.
However, I also remind myself that I can always change my mind about things. People grow and change, and apparently, a lot of that change happens now during the time of self-discovery. I came into college with expectations of what my experience was going to be like, and of course, I could not be more off from what actually happened. Even the best-laid plans go awry. I’ve learned to just go with the flow and continue to do what’s best for me. Everyone lives their own adventure.
The last thing I’ve learned is how to really stay determined and chase my goals. I wanted to do well my first semester at school, and I haven’t let anything stop me from accomplishing that. I’ve worked hard, and I’ve prioritized. Even though I still don’t know what exactly I want to study for the rest of my time in school, I know that I can do anything I put my mind to. Confidence is power, baby.
In short, I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned and all of the people I’ve met so far. I’m super thankful for the #YouAtUW crew for reminding me that I’m not alone in this crazy college transition. I’m thankful that I was given this opportunity to write for all of you. It has truly been a pleasant and eye-opening experience. I’m sure the rest of this year will be a wonderful challenge, and I will continue to embrace all of the ups and downs that come my way. I encourage all of you to do the same. Cherish every moment at this school, because if it’s anything like high school, it’ll be gone in a flash.
Remember to have fun, be confident, and actively chase your goals! I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season and a great rest of the school year.