Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ways I've Changed in College

This is a post I've been meaning to write for a while, since I'm nearing the end of my time on campus. While I don't graduate until December, I will be spending next semester student teaching which is a whole different ball game than the typical college schedule.

Ways I've Changed in College from Courtney's Little Things

In just a few days the majority of my friends will graduate and regardless of who is or isn't graduating, it feels like we will all be going down our own paths now. One of my friends will begin her first year of teaching in her own classroom and I couldn't be more excited for her. Another will be moving home and taking a year or two to work and figure out what exactly she wants to do with her major. Two other friends will be beginning their masters programs. And another friend will be finishing out her last semester on campus while I will be finishing out my last semester student teaching. It's so strange and scary that after four years together, we will all be changing locations, schedules, and everything else that comes with big life changes. I can't believe the time has flown by already!

There's so many emotions when you're considering all the changes that are coming - excitement for all the new opportunities and adventures that await, fear of the unknown, sadness that this moment in time is over, and a bit of a feeling of loneliness since I won't be close (location wise) to the best group of girls I've ever had in my life.

Then I remind myself that just four years ago I was terrified to go to college and I think of all the ways I've changed since that first day walking around campus, just trying not to get lost and talking with just about everyone. To be honest, I feel like a completely different person from who I was when I entered college. I've grown exponentially.

I've become much more self-aware and have a much clearer idea of who I am. 

In high school I still wasn't sure who I was and was more likely to change who I was to fit in. Now I know who I am, what I like and what I don't like, and I know what choices are right for me.

I've grown into a much more confident person. 

I wasn't confident in high school, and, to be honest, I just didn't like myself. As I've learned more about who I am and gotten a better hold on my depression, I've learned to love myself and a more confident person.

I've learned how to manage my depression. 

The first step was really accepting that I have depression and need to get help for it. Over the past year I've learned ways to cope with my depression and the importance of practicing self-care and being honest with others about how I'm feeling.

Ways I've Changed in College from Courtney's Little Things

I've become more comfortable with who I am. 

This goes back to knowing who I am and being more confident, but to me this seems like something a bit different. I'm not only able to appear confident, but I'm also comfortable with who I am. I don't feel bad for not wanting to go out on weekends and I'm comfortable owning that my ideal Saturday night is spent reading or watching TV with a friend. I'm comfortable with being an introvert and not being the super outgoing and friendly person (although I am nice!).  I'm comfortable with being a total nerd (I love learning). To me, this has made all the difference. Instead of being embarrassed about all those little things that make me me, I'm able to own them.

I've become more independent.

While I still refuse to call customer service, I do call and make my own doctor's appointments. I'm able to do all those little things that make you independent like the chores, life administration (like making those doctor's appointments), and being able to spend weekends in my apartment alone. Now I don't rely on my parents to take care of me - I'm able to do it myself and I've kept myself alive for 4 years. Woo!

My friends have become super important.

In high school I didn't have a really good group of friends. My school was really clique-y, which didn't work for me. So I had a friend from this group, a friend from that group, but no one really hung out all together. 

In college I have the best group of friends. We're all close, have certain traditions (TGIT, dinner and a movie on Saturdays), and on occasion we go out and do fun things like eating out, shopping, or going to the movie theater.

I'm better at listening.

I used to be much more like "I have to be right" and "my opinion has to be heard." In college I've become much better about this. I can still be like "I'm right, my opinion is more important," but now I can recognize when I'm getting into that attitude and stop myself before I end up in an unnecessary argument. I can let someone say something and not have to argue why my side is the right side.

I'm also much better at just listening to what the other person is saying. I can just listen to someone talk about what's happening or what they're feeling and not immediately jump in with my advice or opinion. Sometimes people just want to get things off their chest, and they'll let you know if they want your thoughts on it. 

How have you changed in the past few years? How did you change in college?