What I Learned Junior Year of College.

As is tradition, I write a post acknowledging the things I learned over the course of the school year, so please enjoy installment numero tres!

Also, feel free to refresh on installments 1 and 2 below:
Freshman year
Sophomore year

Junior Year:

1. How to Grow Up.

There are certain things that you can’t learn from going to class or reading a book; instead, you have to be thrown into them, kind of like how your childhood swim lessons instructor, who was probably some poor college student and just needed a summer job, ignored your screaming and crying and pleading and threw your mercilessly off the diving board into the deep water, and it was up to you to keep yourself afloat lest you drown.

Okay, usually there was another lifeguard waiting, or you were wearing a life vest or something.  But what I’m trying to convey is that sometimes you have to figure things out on your own in order to grow up.  This year, I grew up a lot.  There’s something about living in your own place that forces you to figure things out on your own and to mature.  You’re responsible for paying your bills on time, for buying and preparing your own meals, keeping track of your finances, etc.  This year, I learned how to shut the water off on the toilet and how to still flush it when the chain breaks (lol), how to cook on an electric stove (okay, still trying to figure that one out), how to clean a filter on a vacuum, how to save money (read: we didn’t turn our heat on all winter and froze our butts off), and all sorts of other things.  But trust me when I say I still have a lot to learn.

2. Do What Makes You Happy.

It seems obvious, but sometimes you’re stuck doing something that makes you incredibly unhappy and you don’t realize it until much later when it’s over and you look back and think, wow, I was miserable.  This was me during the first half of the school year.  I worked as a hostess at a restaurant and it just wasn’t for me.  I dreaded going to work for each shift and didn’t look forward to the weekends because I knew I would be working long hours and would miss out on the fun things my friends were doing.  However, it wasn’t until I got my current job at the daycare (which I love, despite how exhausting it can be) that I could look back and realize just how unhappy I was.  Sometimes you need to take a second and evaluate how your life is going.  If you’re unhappy, you need to make some changes, even if it’s scary.  Trust me, those couple weeks between jobs without an income was frightening, but it all worked out, and I’m in a much better mood now 🙂

3. Take Steps to Make Your Goals/Dreams a Reality.

Ever since my study abroad trip to Honduras 2 years ago (wow, has it already been 2 years?!), I’ve known that I want to teach abroad.  This year, I’ve learned that it’s important to actively take steps that will help me reach my goals, and that’s why I’ve started the process to apply for a Fulbright scholarship to teach English in Mexico after I graduate.  It’s been tough at times and annoying at others, but even if I don’t get the scholarship, this experience has taught me how important it is to work toward what you want.  I’m so excited to continue working toward this goal 🙂

4. Change Happens.

Change is inevitable, so naturally there were a few things that happened this year that threw me for a loop at first, but you learn how to cope.  One thing that happened was that my bestie Jess moved out of the apartment halfway through the school year. At first I was distraught–we had essentially lived together since we’ve known each other!  How would our relationship change as a result?  However, my fears were for naught.  Jess and my friendship is just as strong as when we lived together, and we still see each other quite often.  This change really helped me learn to value her friendship even more since we don’t see each other every day, and I really love her more than ever!

Another change that happened this year was that I broke my foot, and considering I had never broken a bone before or had a serious injury, it was quite a change indeed.  I had to learn crutches and a walking boot, and I couldn’t run anymore, right as the weather was starting to get nice.  However, this change again helped me to learn to value my health, and it also helped me realize…

5. My Support System is Dope.

(No, my support system is not drugs.) I seriously have the BEST people in the entire world behind my back.  My parents, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, friends, boyfriend, teachers…all of them have been there for me this year, whether when I call them to cry my eyes out to them or having them support me in my life decisions or helping me get ice at the bar when I injure myself.  A HUGE thank you to everyone who has been there for me this year; I couldn’t have made it without you!

6. My Boyfriend is Da Best.

**Sappy Alert**

This year, I met one of the most incredible people in the whole wide world, and I am so fortunate and blessed to have him in my life.  He supports me, challenges me, helps me see the world differently, puts up with my weirdness, and ultimately loves me for who I am.  He has helped me get through some of the tough parts of the year and has celebrated with me during the happy times, and even though we don’t get to see each other as often as we like, we make the best of it.  I am so thankful for him 🙂

7. 21 Lyfe is Fab.

Wow.  Who knew that when I turned 21, the song from Aladdin, “A Whole New World” would become my anthem.  That’s right people, a whole new world opened up to me when I turned 21, and let me tell you…I LOVE IT.  These once foreign places are no longer off limits to me and it’s awesome! …Except they probably should be off limits to me, considering all the injuries I’ve sustained thus far.

Oh well.  #worthit.

8. Time Slows for no Woman.

Ack!!  I officially only have one more year at Purdue and am cryin’.  These past 3 years have been so amazing, and it depresses me to think that I only get one more year as a Boilermaker!  Time keeps speeding on by without a care in the world and here I am, sitting in a corner with my knees to my chest, rocking back and forth, trying to figure out what I’m gonna do with my life after I graduate.

Okay, so I’m not actually doing that, but still.  As sad as I am that junior year is over, I’m more excited to see how my final year will play out.  I’ll be student teaching this spring in a 3rd grade classroom in Frankfort, IN and can’t wait to do it (even though I’m also freaked out, lol). 

Anyways, until next time!

XOXO

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