Friday, May 16, 2014

Freshman Year: Complete

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in my basement organizing things to move into my dorm room, and now I am finished with my freshman year of college. Where did the time go? 

I still remember the night before I left for school: Our family had what my mom likes to refer to as our "Last Supper." We enjoyed one last meal together on the patio, all of us aware that things were about to change. My sisters and I were splitting up and we knew things would be different. We exchanged gifts and tears ensued. I didn't know this until later, but my mom cried herself to sleep that night.

The next day was even more rough. The car was packed and I waited around all day for my dad to get home so we could leave for Mizzou. Saying goodbye to my sisters and brother was so hard. I'm pretty sure I cried halfway to Columbia.

Move-in day was a blur, and all of a sudden it came time for my parents to leave. I remember my parents walking out of my dorm room, giving me a hug, and telling me they were proud of me. All three of us cried. I sunk into my desk chair after they left and wallowed in fear/anxiety/sorrow, and began to draft this blog post.

Now, nine months later, I sit in the exact same desk chair, except the walls of my dorm room are empty, my desk drawers sit vacant, plastic bins sit packed by the door, and my roommate is gone. My dorm room isn't the only thing that has changed; I have changed as well. I am smarter, more experienced, more confident, more involved, but most importantly, I feel at home.

Today has been super hard emotionally. Watching many of my best friends pack up and move out has not been easy, and returning to an empty dorm room is nothing short of depressing. Obviously we are going to see each other again, but the summer seems like an eternity. More than that, though, none of us will be returning to Schurz Hall next year. We are living in various apartment complexes around Columbia. At Mizzou, due to high enrollment numbers, it is extremely hard to return to the dorms after freshman year. I am so going to miss living right down the hall to all of my best friends, enjoying dinners at the dining hall, and being able to knock on each other's doors whenever. This might sound crazy, but if you get to return to the dorms as a sophomore, I definitely envy you!

This year has been nothing short of amazing. I can't say it has been exactly what I expected, but I have learned so much about myself and grown in ways I never thought possible. I have met such amazing friends, encountered fabulous professors, gotten involved in incredible organizations, and have overall just had a ton of fun!

I was so nervous coming to Mizzou. I went to a small Catholic high school and I went to school with the same kids since kindergarten. I knew Mizzou was a huge public university, and I was so so nervous about finding a group of friends. Luckily, I joined an Honors Journalism Freshman Interest Group. Joining a FIG and living in the Honors Learning Community in Schurz Hall was one of the best decisions I could have made. I met most of my friends through the FIG, and several others I met on my floor. I have only known these people for nine months, but it honestly feels like we have been friends forever.

Here are some highlights from this incredible year:

Watching Bid Day on the quad during the first weekend (will we ever understand Greek Life?)

Getting ready to run through The Columns at Tiger Walk

Our first Mizzou football game! Boy it was hot that day! #Missouriheat

My amazing roomie, Erin, and our adorable room

We were brave enough to bake in the dorm kitchen

We celebrated many birthdays 

My parents came for family weekend

Being apart from my triplet sisters for the first time EVER was definitely rough, but I learned I can survive without them. Luckily, I got to visit Natalie first semester in Iowa City.

We celebrated our first Mizzou Homecoming! (In case you didn't know, Mizzou invented Homecoming, so it's a pretty big deal!)

We survived our first college finals week and celebrated with a trip to the Magic Tree


We experienced our first college snow day and made snow ice cream to celebrate

I got involved with the Newman Center and met some great people! 

Honors College Formal

My sisters came to Columbia so we could celebrate our 19th birthday together

Dying Easter Eggs on 5th floor Schurz

Kelsie, Aleyna, Hanna, and I became active members of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity

Rode the Tiger during our last weekend at the Zou

They are my family. Miz is my home.

This year has been one of the best of my life. How can it already be over? I can't wait for all of the adventures and experiences that three more years will bring! I am going to miss my friends this summer, but luckily I am staying here in Columbia to obtain Missouri residency. I am living with my friend Natasha and I have a paid internship with State Farm Insurance. I am so excited for this summer, and excited to be close by to my friends, since many of them live in Missouri. 

As far as I am concerned, Mizzou might actually be the greatest place on earth. I'm so happy to call Miz and Columbia my home.

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