"Who we are and who we are meant to become is a collection of constant creation and revision...I am still a work in progress."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Now and Then

Three months ago today was the first day of classes at Saint Joseph's University. My official start of college. Looking back, I can easily recall my unbearable nerves and incredible excitement. Finally, here was the fresh start that I had been craving throughout high school. But what was I going to do with this opportunity?

Before I came to school, I kept a mental to-do list of all of the things I wanted to accomplish in my freshman year. I started off with wanting to keep my grades up. I wanted to participate in a couple extra-curricular activities...one sport team, one community service group, and one program involved in the arts. I wanted to keep in touch with my friends and family from back home. I wanted to take advantage of the location of SJU and explore as much of the city as I possibly could. Most importantly, I wanted to surround myself with a group of really great people. Although the list was a good reminder to keep my head straight, it added a whole new level of personal stress to be successful.

As the weeks passed by quickly, I was unable to pull myself back from my college experience. With the stresses from classes, social pressures, and a busy schedule, I barely had any time to reflect. I was unable to fully appreciate everything that surrounded me. Instead of recognizing how I truly have grown from my classes, I decided to criticize my B+ G.P.A. Instead of embracing and loving my new friends, I became determined to make even more friends. Instead of focusing on healing from my recent break-up, I decided to emphasize the need to move on to new boys. Instead of appreciating the fact that some of my relationships with old friends have strengthened, I focused on trying to reel back the friendships that have weakened or those I have lost.

Eventually, I was able to take myself away from the situation by making time for myself. I needed an escape. Through exploration of the backyard to my campus house, I found an escape. Literally, a fire escape. This staircase led me to exactly what I needed to escape from reality, the roof. By spending time on the roof, I took time to not only appreciate the surrounding natural beauty, but the beauty in my life. This is when I truly began to appreciate everything that was going right. I had stayed true to who I am. I have grown both academically and spiritually. I have became friends with such kind, fun, inspiring, and loving people. Sure I have made mistake along the way, but I decided to now focus on the positive.

Change can be complicated and confusing. But once embraced, all opportunities to better yourself become available. I am not an entirely different from the person on August 30th , but I have definitely learned a lot about myself. My priorities have not changed. Instead, I have strengthened these priorities. I realize that I can not expect myself to be perfect, nor will things always turn out the way I want. I now embrace my situation and everything that I am. My positive outlook on life has been restored.

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