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.