Winding Down: A Reflection on Sophomore Year
Words by Alexa Marco
Last year, I found myself calling home more often, wondering why I wasn’t good enough, not enjoying my classes and constantly worrying about what I was missing back at home. But this year, things have changed. During this exact time last year, I wrote an article about some of the things I learned during my freshman year of college, so right now I’d like to make it an annual thing to discuss what I’ve learned this year.
1. No Matter How Hard You Try, Not Everyone Will See Eye-To-Eye With You.
I found myself in a sticky situation this year with some negative people who constantly assumed I was the bad guy. I knew this wasn’t true, so I didn’t let it get to me and tried my best to put on a smile and make amends. Unfortunately, my efforts apparently were not enough, and I began to wonder if I was doing something wrong or what I could do better. What I realized from this was that some people just don’t see things the way that you do, and some people just can’t force themselves to find peace with a situation. There is just nothing more you can do.
2. Grades Shouldn’t Be Your Demise.
When it comes to grades, I am my biggest critic. My mom pushed me all the time to be the best I can be and to strive for perfect grades, which I did for quite some time. I was always the smartest in my class in elementary school, and I shined bright in middle school. Once high school came around, I found myself only slightly above average amongst the rest of my grade. To me, this didn’t matter; I knew what I was capable of. My only fear was disappointing my mom. When I realized I was getting my first C this year, my first thought was, “What is my mom going to say?” But when I broke the bad news, she handled it well, and we came to terms that sometimes college actually can be quite the struggle.
3. Balance is Key.
It is so hard to find the happy medium when dealing with friend time, schoolwork and relationships. At the beginning of this year, I was very focused on my friends and spending time with them. As the year moved on, I increased my study habits, and by the end of the year, I ended up spending a lot of my time with my boyfriend. Something I have realized about myself is that I need to know how to find some balance and distribute my time better. It is so easy to get caught up in one thing at a time, which only makes life even harder.
4. Sleep Is Crucial.
OK, so I have known this one for a while. However, I find it important to stress this each year as college becomes more and more demanding. Typically, I catch a nasty cold at least twice a year, but this year I was blessed with a better immune system, or so I thought. Of course, I begin to get an awful sore throat at the busiest time of the school year due to my lack of sleep and busy work schedule. Sleep truly is the one thing that keeps me motivated and energized for my day, and without it, I find myself sick as a dog and lagging on my school week.
5. The people who love you most are the people who are hardest on you.
I am an extremely sensitive person — both a blessing and a curse. Naturally, I made a few wrong turns and “iffy” decisions this year and was faced with family and friends who questioned my choices. When these people came to me and expressed their thoughts, I automatically turned my nose up at them with the mindset that they know nothing and don’t care at all about how I feel. Boy, was I wrong! After the fact, I realized these people were telling me their honest opinions because they wanted what was best for me, and they wanted to see me float rather than sink.
6. Whatever is meant to be will be.
This year, someone very important to me came back into my life. Along with being sensitive, I am a hopeful person and in this case, I was full of hope for quite some time until at some point, that hope began to fade. I look back now and realize that people leave for a reason; we all need time to grow, mature and prepare ourselves for what comes next. The greatest things in life happen when you least expect it.