I’m currently sitting on my bed at home (!!!) reminiscing about my freshman year of college. This might be the hardest blog post to write because, well, I’m already getting emotional and feeling all sorts of feelings that I can’t even put into words. Yup, that’s when you know. I was going to dedicate this post to a review of my freshman year, which now (only three sentences in) seems like a daunting task. It’s a bit overwhelming to relive all that I’ve experienced in the past year. Moments never stand on their own, as there are feelings that accompany each memory. Maybe I’m scared that I will cry, or laugh too much that I will be… #collegesick? As I type this, I’m listening to the same playlist that I’ve accumulated over the months in college, which is not exactly helping – My friend tells me that I dislike 80% of the music (I swear I’m a music lover). When I do like a song though, I really fall in love with it and can listen to it a million times over. But back to the whole point of this post: freshman year of college, was it? I guess I will start writing and see where that takes me. Sounds like a good idea. Classic me.
I’m still in denial about how quickly freshman year happened. It’s crazy to me that around this time a year ago, I was struggling to make a decision as to which college to attend. Yes, being in that position was a privilege, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t easy to turn down some great colleges and commit myself to one. In the weeks leading up to the decision, just when I thought I was ready to commit, I would hear a little voice inside of me: how could you say no to the others? NYU was not exactly a “safe” choice because it was different- it does not have a campus (although I disagree) and it is just a little expensive even with scholarships. I probably could have had a good time at another college, but a year later and I do not regret my decision (yet). It’s safe to say that New York has captured my heart. I’m lucky that NYU accepted me for who I am because I would have been heartbroken. I think we were meant to be. I honestly can’t see myself elsewhere… okay, I will stop before this turns into a love letter.
In all seriousness, freshman year has given me much more than a “college experience.” Living in NYC, there were things I couldn’t have learned in a traditional college environment – how to be street-smart, how to navigate the city and not get lost on the subway, how to dress somewhat decent aka no sweatshirts/sweatpants because most New Yorkers are all too fashionable, how to properly jaywalk, how to budget and not brunch all my money away (stay tuned for a post on NY brunch though), how to be a real adult, and in my case, how to spot zero celebrities when all your friends freak out about a new celeb they just passed by on the block (story of my life). This year, I’ve taken mostly courses that I truly enjoyed. I’ve also met some of the most wonderful people – professors who are so smart yet so unbelievably genuine, chill, and passionate about their job, some of them I hope to keep in touch next year; coworkers on the team I work for who spoil me with treats, are so caring and understanding of my busy schedule as a student; my “families” from clubs/organizations that have given me a sense of community and support at a big school where it is all too easy to feel lost; finally, those whom I call my friends (you know who you are). It’s not entirely optional to be constantly surrounded by people in college and in NYC, but luckily for me, at least some wanted to be my friend?! Shocking, I know. Each friend I’ve made has motivated me to become a better person, and from real talks, sleepless nights, exploring the city, eating nonstop, going on spontaneous trips and more – I wouldn’t change a thing. Friends, y’all are stuck with me.
Of course, there were lows. Often times, people may get the wrong impression that everyone else is having a better time than they are in college judging by social media alone. This is rarely the case. For me, there were days where I missed home; times where I wished I could be alone; instances where I felt insecure. Nothing is ever perfect. Whatever the situation, we all have bad days and it’s important to accept that. When I’m feeling down, I’ve learned to take a break and treat myself to something nice. Sometimes, however, that does not solve the problem. I’ve learned to talk to a friend or someone I trust about things on my mind, or alternatively, write down what is bothering me and what I can do to feel better. Throughout the year, I’ve also realized who my true friends were both from college and from back home. It’s funny how some relationships can change so drastically for better or worse, yet other times, nothing changes at all. I’m amazed by the friends I never thought that I would be friends with, and equally amazed by the friends I’ve stayed friends with. On the other hand, I’ve accepted that you cannot hold onto something forever, and when it no longer feels right, it’s time to move on.
Last week was filled with goodbyes, sad tears, happy tears, some of the most memorable/surprising moments, and in the midst of all of these, finals. Freshman year may be over and I may have said bye to New York over the weekend, but there are many more memories to be made with old and new friends alike, much to explore, and (maybe, just maybe) celebrities to be spotted. For now, cheers to the frickin’ summer. See you later, New York! It’s (not) goodbye. Xoxo, KT