The Last Fall

College classes don’t actually start for a couple of weeks, but I wanted to just reflect on what this next semester all entails. It’s slightly exciting, slightly scary.

I’ve taken a couple of summer online classes. I’m studying to take the German Language CLEP test next week which, pray for me on that one. And then I’ll be getting right back into the swing of things from there.

There were certainly moments this summer that seemed to drag on for years. With summer, that’s inevitable regardless of what you might be doing. But in other respects, now I’m amazed by how August is already here, and I will be starting classes in just a few short weeks.

I’m excited to see the people that I haven’t seen since last fall again. Summer is always difficult to try and coordinate plans with others (heck, I’m not great at it during any other time in the year, either), and since I was abroad in the spring, I don’t know what sort of adjustment period I’ll have now back in the States, if any. But I’m at a point with myself where I really want to go out and do things with others. There’s been up’s and down’s in my interest in socializing, but right now I just want to see and talk with everyone I can, invite people over to my apartment, get in a car and keep driving forever.

Ah yes, I have an apartment off-campus now which is another change I’m excited for. No more shower shoes, first off. I cannot wait to just have a space to call my own and go back to every day. A place I can keep to my standards of cleanliness (or try) and feel like it’s uniquely mine. Of course it’s temporary for the school year, but just having furniture in a bare space that isn’t university property is a nice feeling.

I also plan to be involved in some new projects this school year. I’ll be the campus Peace Corps ambassador and I want to kick start the campus chapter of NAMI, both causes I am very passionate about. It’s different than from what I’ve been doing my first two years, but I think that’s what makes it so exciting. A fresh start to the end. A way of signing off my time as an undergraduate by hopefully making a lasting difference.

Do I fear that taking my final classes in Media and Journalism might be interesting to say the least? I guess. While I’m finishing my degree in the field, I know have a much better idea of where I want to end up in the coming years, and that does not involve staying in the media world itself. It’s not for me, and that’s okay. But I do think the classes will still teach me more about how to interact and share with the world. Hopefully I can be of some help for younger students who might fall into my shoes in having doubts and major stumbles trying to enter journalism because they sure didn’t tell me anything. There’s one thing earning classroom credits, and there’s another thing teaching others the wisdom you’ve gained through life.

Perhaps the weirdest feeling I’m dwelling upon is the fact that it doesn’t feel like I’m almost done with college. I don’t feel like I’m old enough or qualified enough to say that I only have two semesters left. I am in an awkward phase of simultaneously feeling like I’m too young and quite old. But I chose to finish this part of my education early, but that comes with its own challenges. I have to make sure people take me seriously. That they know I’m not just getting done early because maybe I didn’t like college or I’m going for a less demanding degree. I’ve worked hard already, and that isn’t stopping anytime soon.

This summer was necessary for me to look upon the coming semester with the belief that I can do this, I can make my ambitions reality, and I can overcome whatever might arise. I can admit when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and I can know when to push myself to do more. I’m not perfect by any means, but when you’ve seen a lot of darkness, the simplest of transitions like starting college classes becomes blindingly radiant.

So cheers to what may come. To the inevitable stress and anxiety of assignments, tests, and obligations. To the tired mornings when a lecture feels like listening to white noise.

Cheers to the enlightening conversations with friends. To the sense of accomplishment from finishing long papers and receiving a better-than-expected grade. To the fulfillment of engaging with others and doing activities that provide joy and passion.

Cheers to it all. Regardless of what you might be doing in the next days, weeks, months, years, there is something worth celebrating and looking forward to. Any moment can become one of transition, change and growth. We just have to change our perception to see it as such. And that just makes the roller coaster of life that much more exciting.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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