With the exception of one exam, I’ve just wrapped up my second first year of University–my second first year, of course, because of my brief stint as a English-cum-Swedish major back in 2009, but we won’t talk about that–and I definitely see it as cause for celebration on my part. It’s almost a surreal feeling that I’ve made it even this far towards any goal of mine, honestly.
It’s not that I’m a quitter, per se, but I change my mind too frequently to get very far into anything. So the fact that I’ve been on this path towards Journalism and Communications for a whole school year now, that’s something. And hey, I’m doing pretty well, too.
It’s a little crazy to think of how far I’ve come in the last year or two. I know that I’m a completely different person than I was two years ago, with almost a completely different set of goals, interests, values, and friends.
I mean, obviously there are a few things that seem to be a constant for me: My life still revolves around hockey; I get antsy if I don’t get a new tattoo for longer than 6 months; my faith; straight edge; my love of coffee. But the last two years have really changed me, and I’d like to think it’s for the better.
I don’t take myself as seriously as I used to. That might be one of my biggest regrets, the source of my wasted youth: I learned to relax and have a little fun, and that it doesn’t really matter if people judge you for it. I learned how to say “yes” and not worry about the consequences. I learned that you regret the things you don’t do more than the ones that you do, every time. I also learned how to balance my life better. I still struggle sometimes, between work and school and my social life, trying to write for SMHH and making sure to talk to my friends who I don’t necessarily see every day. Time management is key, and it’s a work in progress, but it’s coming along–I know my limits, but I also know that taking a break once in a while does wonders for my mental health.
Speaking of mental health… it’s something I’ve struggled with for a really long time. But I think I’m finally at a point in my life where it’s 100% manageable. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished despite my frequent instabilities. I know that some people would have found it acceptable for me to give up and would have forgiven me for it as well, but I made it, and I did it with flying colours.
I’ve never really been one for making friends, and for the first semester of this year, I barely bothered to learn anybody’s name. But I made a point of making some friends at school this term, and I feel great about that decision. Learning to be sure of myself when talking to people and believing I can make a good impression, and knowing now that I’m a memorable person when, growing up, I always felt that people would forget me immediately after meeting me, has made me so much more confident in making friends–and of course, being totally fine with it when people don’t like me. I like me, thank you very much.
I used to think that it wouldn’t be possible for people to be friends with me if they didn’t witness everything that I’d been through–I don’t feel that way anymore. I can separate my past self and my current self and know that you don’t have to know one to know the other; that just because someone may have been there as a witness to my past self does not mean that they deserve to be present for my current self. The more I grow, the more I realize that the things that I have been through in the past are just that: the past. And they can stay there.
I didn’t make it through my first year last time around–and here I am now, coming out the other side. And I think that’s something to feel pretty damn good about.