As I sit in my Tallahassee apartment, I look back at the beginning of the school year and how much life changed since then. I learned so much about life and was able to have some great experiences. I remember in August when my mom left in the car to go back to Pensacola and I sat in my new college room. I felt excited, scared, nervous, kind of lonely, but I knew a great new adventure started.
Rooms and Roommates: I feel I’m different from some people in that I can make almost any space work for me. As long as I have an area that I can make my own and it’s clean or I can easily clean it, then I’m happy. Giving the rooms reminders of Pensacola along with adding pictures and things from the school year, helped make this home for me thus how I have many collages, pictures, and quotes on my wall. I had two roommates this past school year. They were both different experiences. My first roommate and I mostly functioned on totally different schedules, we didn’t really say more than hello to each other unless one of us went out-of-town. It wasn’t a bad experience but it wasn’t ideal. In my opinion, my second roommate and I got along great. We got to really know each other at the beginning and that set the tone for a good semester. In the end, I learned that roommates need to at least be able to respect each other as two people living in a space together, how things start reflect how the rest of y’all’s time together will be, and making an effort in small ways such as eating dinner together will help. Roommates can be two strangers in a space together for a set amount of time or two people brought together to be friends.
Friendships: Overall in life it is hard to find good dependable friends but then it is hard to make friendships last. The first semester of college is difficult foremost because we are dealing with not having those friends who knew us for years and trying to continue those friendships when we are on different paths. I think I’m closer to some friends now, especially some I grew a little a part from in high school. Sadly with some friendships I feel a struggle to keep the connection we once had. With old friendships I think there are three amazing quotes are that hold truth to them:
“I believe that we don’t have to change friends, if we understand that friends change. I believe that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that. I believe that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.”
New friendships– Part of my exciting school year was the new friendships. There were some great dinner dates, movie nights, yoga classes, nights of dancing, study sessions, and just fun/deep conversations. I learned with these new friendships that no two friendships are the same and people can be friends to you different ways. You never know where your next friend will come from and friendships can come from a spark of connection, conversations, two degrees of separation or the person who sits next to you randomly in class.
Majors & Classes: The first lesson of college classes was college is not the end of taking classes you don’t want to but there are opportunities to learn about something you always had a small interest in. Having a good partner in the class is great because everyone takes different notes and it’s nice to have someone to talk to about the class.When it comes to majors, I learned that there is no major that truly encompasses everything I want to do in life. When I didn’t get into public relations, it was a somewhat blessing out of much sadness that made me take a deeper look at what I want to do in life. I am constantly assessing where I want to go in life but after this school year I know that college is a special time to learn about everything you’ve wanted to so do your best to not waste a class.
Dating: Half way through the school year I opened up about my sexuality to everyone who was a part of my pre-college world. One of the greatest lessons I came across in the dating world this year is that we all deserve to be with someone who is proud to be with us and we are proud to with them. I think dating shouldn’t be as complicated as we make it. While a little mystery and intrigue is great, people shouldn’t have to play hard to get. Being open with our feelings saves others so much time.
Activities: I was able to get involved in some great organizations and activities that I wouldn’t have if it was not for college. I was in FPRA, a hall ambassador, watched plays, learned yoga, and so much more. If anything sparks our interest or could challenges us, we should give it a try. We get a chance to meet great people who could be a potential friend or familiar face in a class, or they could tell you about something you would like better. I learned to be open to trying some new things out.
SUMMER Fun: Staying in Tallahassee for the beginning of summer has been a great opportunity. I have new friends and strengthened friendships with people I have known for a while but have not had the chance to really hang out with. Furthermore, this time I’ve had without classes gives me a chance to really think about my life and some of the things that came up this year. Lastly, I am growing professionally this summer.
Zimmerman: I honestly can’t believe it’s been seven weeks since I started at Zimmerman. I love the other people I get to work with and these connections that grew over time. When I started at Zimmerman, I believe I struggled with finding that feeling of belonging. I knew my personality stood out but I didn’t feel just yet that I had come into my own. We all want to feel that we matter and as silly as it may seem, the moment our nametags came in at work, I truly felt that affirmation that I was a part of the team as we all taped them up and talked about our nicknames. Started at Zimmerman was the same as starting school. There is the principal and the teachers and your fellow students. Some are in the same grade as you and some are upper classmen that know the rhythm of things more.The thing I love most about being a clipper are the challenges we get sometimes. I think there is doing your job where you do the basics and then there is doing your job where you give it your all. Every account coordinator has certain things that they would like to see with a clip, whether it’s the masthead further down the page, to make this bigger, this smaller, or this more centered, so I love trying to combine all of their wants into doing a better job for all the account coordinators. I remember when I did my first clip and how genuinely exciting it was to do it on my own. There were definitely some hours since then when I wished I was back home in Pensacola having lunch with friends but it’s been worth it when we finally caught up on hundreds of clips. I love having a sense of being a part of a team whether it was organizing a potluck lunch for us Clippers, Junior Account Coordinators, and Interns; to helping each other figure out how to transfer a call; to the side where we are all just tired and want a nap but we get our work done and make each other laugh or tell random anecdotes. Work can be boring if you have that mindset but when you use your position to brighten the day of those around you and yourself, work can be a place you get excited to go back to. Two Oprah quotes that are true at work is “When you do well, people notice” and to “please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.” When you do these, happiness and success await.
While this post only scrapes the surface of what I overall learned this year, my blog continues to deeply dive into the more specific lessons I learn. I’m excited for what the rest of summer holds and for what is ahead next school year!