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December 17, 2012

End of Semester Sentiments

The other day, I was having an extremely classy chit-chat with my friend Faith while we engaged in a stress-related McDonalds binge (it’s finals and I’m an adult -

I’m not leaving until Wednesday, but I thought this would be appropriate to put here.

it may be gross but I do what I want). Faith is from Georgia, and like me, she moved across the country without knowing anyone. Like me, she never got to go home after a rough week of classes, or to spend time with her immediate family during Thanksgiving, or to decorate the family Christmas tree. That night, as I shamelessly stuffed french fries into my face, she told me something that will probably stick with me for the rest of my life; moving thousands of miles away from home was the hardest and also the best thing she could have ever done for herself. She’s totally right. Being so far away from home, in a totally new environment, not knowing a single person for thousands of miles teaches you a lot about yourself. I’ve learned and changed so much over the course of fifteen weeks, whether or not I want to admit it. My very last day of my first semester is tomorrow, culminating in two finals, and I thought this would be a great place for me to share some of my new-found knowledge.

1. I don’t hate Alaska as much as I thought I did

As soon as the wheels on the plane for my flight out of Anchorage lifted off the ground, I thought to myself, “Yep, definitely not going to¬†ever miss this place”. For the nine years that I lived there, Alaska had always been a cold desolate wasteland where the only things to do were hunt and go to Target. I thought the mountains were overrated and the seemingly endless hours of sunlight in the summer were extremely annoying. Oh, and the snow? Horrible. 6 feet is 6 feet too many.

But going almost seven months without all of that made me realize how much I appreciate and truly miss Alaska. Yes it’s cold and no, there’s no Urban Outfitters,

My beautiful second family. I couldn’t have made it through the semester without you guys.

but I’ve come to love it a lot more than I ever wanted to admit.

2. College isn’t a fend-for-yourself free-for-all

I came to college under the impression that I was expected to immediately become an adult and be a mature, independent person around the clock. I’ve found,

though, that people are always there for you. Everyone is going through everything that you are, knows where you’re coming from, and can empathize with you. No one is around to take you down a notch or kill your self-esteem; people are here to support you, and it’s awesome.

3. I am able-bodied and capable

Since coming to Clark, I’ve learned how to do a lot of things that I previously would have made my parents take care of. I filled out my own tax forms, I scheduled my own doctor appointments, and I managed my own transportation. I learned that I can manage to push through terrible professors, extreme stress and massive homesickness. I feel a whole lot more responsible than I did when I came here.

She’s perfect in every possible way

4. My dog is my ultimate motivation and 70% of my desire to come home

She’s what I miss from home the most. Sorry, Mom and Dad.

Who wouldn’t miss this? She’s perfect.

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