Currently, I am studying abroad as a junior. But soon enough I will be taking my GRE exams, and before I know it, I'll be a senior and graduating in May 2021. It seems like yesterday I finished my freshman year, arrived at Notre Dame, graduated high school, went to prom, received my acceptance letter… I realize, right now, I am in the middle of two different worlds and don't really know what is ahead of me.
Since the beginning of my freshman year, I have gained friends, lost some, and found an unparalleled amount of gratitude for where I come from. Freshman year was just as monumental as everyone claims... and sophomore year was rough. I lost a lot of my closest friends, but I also found I had a lot of people I could lean on!
Sophomore year increased both my GPA and stress. I made some great friends. I became more comfortable in my own skin - and even more so in my own intersectionality. I have become more aware of University resources for networking, counseling, mentorship and have used them at every chance I can. Surprisingly, this is typical of sophomore years. It's the college mid-life crisis, and we all debate the eternal question: What am I here for?
The answer is that it is hard to tell. But Notre Dame provides all of its students with invaluable opportunities that make it a lot easier to answer that question. At the end of my Sophomore year, I participated in a University-sponsored internship in Beijing and am now in my semester abroad in Jerusalem. When I get back, I will have several GRE meetings, mentors, and colleagues that are all here to support me. Even counseling to help make the adjustment back to life at Notre Dame. Furthermore, I will be reunited with those I am most thankful for.
Senior year will be challenging. There's no doubt about it. Applying to graduate schools, finishing courses for my major and minor, saying goodbyes to some people I will never see again until reunion and those harder goodbyes to those who made it worth it. So while I wish I could go back and make some different choices and relive some incredible moments, I am so excited for the next two years.
These past two years have brought me a lot of tears of laughter, tears of stress, tears of joy, and at moments, tears of exhaustion. But for every negative, there are twenty positives that I would not have had elsewhere and these next two years will be no different. At this moment, I realized what I am here for: all of these moments, friendships, opportunities, and chances for growth - in addition to a world-class education.