2014: my biggest challenge

To say that 2014 gave me the most memorable experiences of my life would be an understatement.

Countless times this past year, I have tried to write about these exciting events, but I quickly found myself diving into my next adventure. So here’s my spill.

I started off 2014 working with my spunky friend on an educational session presentation for the NACA national convention! In February, we traveled to Boston, MA with other members of our activities council (SMAC), and I achieved a new high from presenting in front of a full room of eager student programmers from across the nation. I felt so proud and accomplished that I could feel my small mark already being made.

In March, I faced my “biggest” downfall when I lost an election for a leadership position. I had never considered the position until others encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone to go for it, so I shed a bucket of tears when I first heard the news that it was not mine. My boyfriend has a special way of making my see all the other opportunities in front of me, and he helped me realize I have a special energy to see others grow. I then began to refocus this energy on my present and future.

Also, I failed spring break. Yes, failed. I spent the entire week in the library from open to closed writing the prospectus for my thesis. I even used my special access on campus to work on it over night (multiple nights). My thesis was my biggest enemy, and I was determined for that to change.

In April, I saw my hard work pay off. I sometimes feel very overlooked within my sorority, Delta Gamma (which I think is probably normal for everyone at some point), but this was such a shock. I was invited to an awards banquet with our president and adviser, and I won the award for Student Activities Member of the Year! I was genuinely surprised and had a smile on my face the rest of the day, the rest of the year actually.

Later that month I was also inducted in The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. I had been waiting for this moment since the beginning of my sophomore year. My new goal was to revamp this prestigious organization and make it something worthwhile for USM students. This became my next big project.

In May, I watched several of my close friends and best friends graduate, which means it was time for my senior year. I was in disbelief, but life keeps going.

Over the summer, I was so lucky to work on campus and live here for free! I learned all about summer conference housing and had an awesome summer with my friends!

At the end of summer, I was able to travel to St. Louis for a Phi Kappa Phi national convention. I coincidentally met a friend there and had an awesome time exploring the city with her. The convention taught me so many ways to make PKP stand out, so I quickly created a plan to incorporate what I had learned into making our new student organization stand out and last far beyond my senior year.

The fall began just like any other. I was so excited to catch up with friends, and our sorority was vigorously preparing for formal recruitment. Every semester has its adjustments, but this semester came with more adjustments than I had signed up for.

  • I was a new commuter. I would get to campus at 8 A.M. every day just to guarantee I could park where I wanted.
  • Modern. Dance. Class. Although I had taken a lower level modern class previously, I was not prepared for the amount of energy I would need for this class. #needcoffee
  • I had a job! I now work with the university’s communications department and I love every day of it.
  • Changing clothes multiple times a day. (Reason? Class to work to dance to class to dance to work to… wait what’s next?)
  • Observation class (AKA the most intense “writing intensive” class ever). Scheduling observation hours between work and 19 hours of class was a cluster-mess. I don’t know how I got through that.

Trying to fit in all this plus everything else I was already doing (like my thesis, student involvement, leadership responsibilities, etc) was even more difficult than before. I’m sorry to all the people I used to hang out with in the HUB everyday. I truly wish I had still time to sit in there all day. I had to deal with the things that are most important to the moment and also figure out which things I wanted to continue to keep.

*Breathe*

I went through a phase this semester where I was very down on my life. My best friends since the beginning of college stopped speaking to me without explanation, and I soon figured out that I was putting in more energy than what I was getting out of it. The things I previously enjoyed then became miserable and heartbreaking. Reality became very real. I have mascara stains to prove it. I talked God’s head off asking for answers and eventually realized that they were right in front of me. I started focusing on the things I have, not the things I don’t have. I became much closer to my Little Sister, roommate, brother, boyfriend, and other sorority sisters whom I have always wanted to be close with but now I had a chance.

Once I realized what I needed to do, I took action and I was happier. I didn’t think about the past or the things that use to make me upset. Every day was an opportunity to make a difference and a gift from God. I became so much more thankful. I’m even convinced that this new energy is what led me to a 4.0 that semester, despite all the crazy things that were thrown my way.

Of course there’s so much more that happened (like hiking Red Bluff, or seeing Phantom of the Opera LIVE, or running into my brother at college parties, or my cruise to Mexico), but the main thing is where I am going with this new vision.

On New Years my heart sank…I graduate in 4 months.

I’m going to be very honest. I have NO CLUE what I’m going to do after graduation. I’ve toured and applied to graduate schools for audiology, but I have also considered public relations. I have thought about taking time off school to work for a little while. I’ve even applied for a couple jobs already.

Now that I don’t have tunnel vision to grad school, I am trying to prepare myself for several different routes.

In the meantime, I am hoping and praying that MY path will show itself to me in time. I know that I have a true support group like no other, and I feel so damn confident to face the challenges that await me this year.

2015, on your mark. Get set.

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One thought on “2014: my biggest challenge

  1. I just read your blog and just wanted you to know how proud I was of you and that I love you very much. I am always there for you if you need me.
    Love, Daddy

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