Saturday, April 25, 2015

Freshman year?

My friend and I were talking about my blog the other day and he asked, "Where do you see your blog going in the next few years while you're here at Richmond?"

We had talked a lot about how my blog changed as I went from high school to college and how it affected me. It really had me thinking about the purposes and priority this blog has in my life, and as I write this with only one week left to go in my freshman year, I feel like I should have some sort of conclusion. Some sort of pretty little nicely wrapped present to my friends starting college, saying "here are all of the things I learned off my checklist of things to learn in life". 

My blog was at its highest my senior year of high school because I was finishing up something that I had changed so much during. I learned a lot. I had a lot to write about. But I'm sitting here, fumbling with my keyboard, thinking about what I've actually done this year and what on earth I could absolutely have to offer at the end of my first year of college. One out of four years? Check, check. 

Yes, I've learned a lot, but does learning have to be all content? Does it have to be a list of definitions and facts and tips? No. Learning is part of a growing process, which at the very root of it, can't be explained in words because it has to be experienced to be taught. 

I explained to my friend that this blog has helped me with transitioning. I kind of imagine it as a notebook I keep it in my back pocket, pulling out to take notes in and shoving photos into between running from thing to thing. 

My life can be a mess. I am a mess. It would be inhuman to not address this, but it's easy to minimize the messiness when you're trying to prove to your family that you're doing well in school, to your friends from home that you're loving college, to your younger friends that college is really much better than high school, to the people who helped you to get to where you are. It's easy to scream "I LOVE college!" when there are so many fun and different aspects. There are times when I've felt really down and I think that speaks for just about everyone in freshman year. Times when I've broken down, doubted every single thing about myself, considered whether I was really at the right school, failed (countless times), and just felt so confused about everything. As I say this, though, I don't think it comes without saying that a lot of people feel this way and that it seems like the grass is always greener on the other side. There are good days and there are bad days in life. There are some days where I could yell of joy and skip across campus and hug everyone I encounter, and there are days where I want to sit in bed all day long and never talk to anyone ever again. And I guess that's just a taste of life, where it becomes difficult to write an organized post about the intertwined mess that life can be.

I have been so frustrated with everything school related. Calculating what I need on the final to get a particular grade in the class, worrying about whether this or that matters for final points and exact details, wondering what goes into my GPA and how this will sit with me for forever. This semester's been kind of tough, but a few days ago, it all came full circle.

I was sitting in my first year seminar, more of an interdisciplinary studies class with food at the forefront of the content, but we've been reading and writing about a multitude of topics. There are two guys in my accounting class in that class and someone was presenting their final paper, of course, about food, and one of the guys brought up a point from something we had learned in our accounting class a few weeks ago. I smirked because I knew what he was talking about and at the fact that he used an example from something from the business school to make his point and ask a question about agriculture. When I found myself thinking about my own personal life and how applicable it was to my final research paper for that class, I thought about how deeply that subject had affected me and how the actual things I was learning was what was causing me to make decisions throughout my day.

In my last journalism class of the semester, our professor kind of pulled together what we had done for months. Countless readings of every sort of news source and media outlet, being very skeptical of everything we were reading, trying to figure out what was really going on in our world. He explained at the end of class that journalism was the most human profession and how after just a semester of researching this kind of stuff, we were able to view the world differently. Textbook content was learned, yes, but our perspectives on how we absorb things that happen every single day are so applicable now.

In my economics class I found myself eager to text my dad as soon as I got out, wondering how he did his stocks and mutual funds. I wondered in my accounting class how my grandpa did this every single day. Because of my first year seminar class last semester, I find myself thinking critically about how rhetoric comes into play in my everyday life and with politics. Or because of my history class, I wonder how the things that were controversial two hundred years ago are still being debated when I watch the news. Thanks to my journalism class, I read everything and scrutinize it more strictly. It's funny how all of your classes start to intermingle and become one and you realize that you're actually growing so much as a person and as an intellectual in just one year. One year down, three more to come, and I hope they're just as great as this one and are full of similar experiences.

This was all a lot of rambling, but I guess life is just a bunch of rambling.

"Cause life is not the mountaintops, it's the walking in between." -Ben Rector



  1. Sounds like you learned a lot! It's always cool to see things you learned in class apply to real life and change your view on the world just a little. Also, THANK you for being so real all the time. Congratulations on almost finishing your first year of college! Here's to the next three years!:)

    xo Hannah-Kate

    1. Thank you so much Hannah-Kate! It really means a lot to me that you said that, I worry sometimes about it. Have a great weekend!

      xoxo, Meredith

  2. I love this post so much! Congrats on finishing your first year! Love how real you are on this blog. It really means a lot and is a fresh of breath air!


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