In Response To “Cheers To The Second Year”

Earlier this school year, I wrote a blog post on my hopes for the future as a sophomore at CSU. I was only a few weeks in, but I already knew at that time that this year was going to be different, that this year was going to be everything I missed out on. And it more than excelled at my wishes. As the second year has finished, I can reflect on everything I did and everything that made it so great for me.

I think I grew a lot this year–past my past and more into who I’m meant to be. My first year was finding out who I was–both weaknesses and strengths, but this year was taking that person and making something out of them. I got involved, I was challenged, and I was happy.

But as I said, “I don’t forget, I can’t. Because I learned so much in that first year–about college, about people, about myself.” And every day I was reminded of how lucky I was, of how easily it could all be taken away. Of what I went through. I thought about it and thought about where I was now. I had seen how I had grown and that although there were times of weakness, anxiety, depression, it was much less constant. It was much more manageable.

I’m not going to say I deserve this happiness, because it can be taken away just as easily as it was gained, but I can appreciate it that much more from what happened in my past year.

And here’s everything I was able to do my second year.

I lived in an apartment. With three random roommates, one of which has since become one of my close friends. It was so much better than my dorm room and my first place that was my actually my own.

I joined a service fraternity. This organization has been the best thing that could have happened to me in my entire college career. It has given me a friend group, a purpose, and a sense of community. Although it may mean a lot more to me than other members, it is everything I live for at school. Sunday late nights, brotherly lunches, service retreats. It was hard when I came back to school without having connected with anyone or without anything to look forward to–now I had service every week and couldn’t go from one building to another without seeing a brother.

I was part of the Year 2 Program. The Year 2 program was one of the best experiences I’ve had at CSU. It was connecting with other students who had similar problems to my own, it was getting outdoors, and it was leaving my comfort zone. It was interesting because many of the problems I had freshman year, they seemed to be having at the start of their sophomore year.

I changed my major. This was really hard for me and took a lot of thought. I was intern at the beginning of the school year at my fifth vet clinic (and although this was the best one out of all of them) I just didn’t enjoy my work. I wasn’t interested in what I was doing and I didn’t care. And once I changed my major, I fell in love. I finally loved my classes and my professors, I loved what I was learning and who I was surrounded by.

I was given two leadership positions. I’m a quiet leader–I don’t order people around, I don’t say my opinion, and I don’t step up in front of people. But here I am, a newly appointed officer. I’m so excited for the new responsibilities (including getting to plan everything RUSH and having a say in the fraternity’s future being an Eboard member).

I celebrated 1 year with Mogul and parted ways with the Odyssey after 2 years. Writing is still a major part of my life, but it is more for myself now than it has been in awhile. I’m excited to dive more into my own personal writing and step away from millennial-based articles. I also was published in a literary magazine and became a writer for LSSU’s school newspaper, The Compass. Along with that, I participated in my second NaNoWriMo tradition, finishing my second novel in 30 days!

I hiked Grey Rock for the first time. And about five other times. Grey Rock is my favorite hike in Colorado and a place I will always treasure.

I turned 20. And it was amazing.

I got a tattoo. Of the mountains, of everything I’ve conquered. And I’m planning a second one for later this month.

I made the Dean’s List. My hard work finally paid off. I had so much stress from school I would lose hair or throw up or shake during tests. It feels great to be acknowledged for my efforts.

I went skiing for the first time. I visited Garden of the Gods. I ran a second half marathon. 

This second year was filled with some ups and downs, but looking back on all the highlights and everything I accomplished, I have nothing but good feelings. I feel like I finally belong somewhere, like I finally have a home, and like I have something to live for. I’m going to miss this year and all that it was, miss my friends and brothers, and miss my little apartment life at least a little bit. I really will.

And lastly, I was happy. If I could re-do this second year, I would. I loved it and I’ll always cherish it. And now I’m looking forward to this summer and next year: traveling to Africa, finishing long-distance with my boyfriend, moving into a house, living with my friends, having four day weekends, attending Lollapalooza, spending weekends at my lake house, being home for a little while. Cheers to the second year.


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