End of Year One

SO. The last two weeks have gone by in a flash, and though I took a break from writing on Young Cosmopolite to study my bootie off for finals,

I am finally done with my first year of college.

That feels unbelievably bizarre to write. So much went into creating this past year. So much happened during this past year.

For starters, I fell in love with the grit-filled, overcrowded city that is Berkeley, CA. I can’t say it’s not a strange place, because it is 110% the vegan-obsessed, semi-hippie, very liberal city that stereotypes make it out to be. But it also so unabashed and relentless in its energy, its opinions, and its people — that you just can’t help but appreciate it, quirks and all.

UC Berkeley alone took my breath away. Its sprawling campus is a juxtaposition of pristine ivory buildings against teeming wilderness. For a snapshot, here are a few times I couldn’t resist whipping out my phone to take a pic:

I also met some of my closest friends, which even though everyone says, “You’ll find your friends for life in college,” I definitely didn’t believe was a possibility. And now, I’m going to be one of those people preaching endlessly about how college bonds companions like no other. But honestly. Dozens of conversations that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. Restaurant sampling around Berkeley and SF. Adventuring galore. These are only a few of the people who changed my life this year.

Another fun thing I did was join a sorority. I hadn’t given much thought to going Greek, and it certainly wasn’t a factor when I was picking what universities to apply to. Greek life is different at every school. At Berkeley, I’ve found it to be a wonderfully ambitious group of strong women who embrace academia, each other, and life itself. I am proud to be a Chi Omega.

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Finally, I grew as a person. Tenfold. And though I can’t quite put this into words, I will say this:

College challenges you. More than you could have anticipated. It changes the way you think, so that you’re no longer asking, “Why?” but asking, “Why not?” One day it starts to dawn on you that you have complete and utter control over your life, and that’s as invigorating and empowering as it is disconcerting. You have the choice to shape yourself as the person you want to be. You dictate how you want to spend your time, and who you want to spend it with. You have the chance to really live life to the fullest. Your fullest. And there is nothing more beautiful than coming to terms with that truth. 

Here’s to being home. Here’s to catching up with the old friends who went on their own ways. Here’s to readying myself for another wonderful year. But above all, here’s to the many Orange County posts and summer finds that are coming your way.

Happy to be back writing again.

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XOXO,

-H

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