Anna-Catherine Kueng ~ Assistant Editor
In a few days, granted I survive all my exams, I will have completed my third semester of college. Sometimes, it still feels surreal that I am not a nervous freshman moving into Montgomery Hall for the first time and wondering what college has in store.
For many students, the end of the semester is just that: the end of the semester. It is just another amount of months that have passed, and Christmas Break is right around the corner. Of course I am thrilled to be going home for Christmas Break, and I cannot wait to spend time with loved ones, but the end of the semester is bittersweet for me.
When I look back at each semester of college I have completed so far, I can see significant changes in my intellectual abilities, self-confidence, and appreciation for life. I remember last fall semester, I had to give a 10 minute TED Talk in my Westover English class. I thought that was the most intimidating thing I could do, and now I give 30 minute presentations for classes and even Spanish presentations! I still do not love presenting, but I have gotten much better at it thanks to being forced to give them throughout the year.
Also, and this is the growth I long for the most, I am more confident in myself. Since a young age, I have been a perfectionist, a people-pleaser, or whatever you want to call it. I have never been one to speak up in class or want attention on me because I am quite reserved. When I began college, I never felt like contributing to discussions because I felt like there was nothing I had to say. However, as I get older, I realize that my opinions and ideas are just as important as other classmates. I may not speak up as much as I would like to, but gradually I am realizing it is okay to let others see my intellectual capabilities. Furthermore, I have realized my worth as an individual and I know how I deserve to be treated by friends, guys, and professors. Looking back at last year, I did not stand up for myself when I should have because I did not realize I could. At the end of the day, I am the one who decides whether or not I will enjoy my life, and others cannot affect my choice unless I let them.
As for my appreciation for life, that only increases as the semesters pass, as well. Since freshman year, I have seen people my age from my hometown tragically passed away, and I realize how my family members are getting older, as well. I think so often young people think that college is a stepping stone to when life truly begins. But, whether I want to accept it or not, my life is going on right now, and I cannot get it back. College days may not always be easy, but you should be thankful that you get to see another day of life because so many people do not.
So, farewell, first semester. Thank you for the lessons you have taught me, and thank you for showing me that I can endure much more than I thought I could. And spring semester, I am ready for you (after a long, relaxing break of course)!