Tomorrow, I’m turning in my application to spend next fall studying in Northern Ireland.
The idea of studying abroad has been on my radar since childhood, and exactly one year ago, I got a taste of international travel with the London trip. But a longer-term commitment in Northern Ireland has been wheeling around in the back of my head since my freshman year.
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to watch one of my best friends marry the girl of his dreams. And I mean it seriously, too; he was dreaming of this day way before she even agreed to date him in the first place. I've known Jordan (the one in the dapper suit on the left) since the 4th grade, so I know a bit better than most that even when he was dating someone else through the majority of high school, Megan (the blushing bride on the right) was always the one he was most serious about wanting to settle down with.
It’s January 1st here, readers. That’s right: 2014.
In case you want some perspective on that, 2014 means that it has been 10 whole years since Facebook launched, 9 years since Lance Armstrong won his 7th Tour de France title (read: “won”) and 8 years since High School Musical came out (don’t act like you are too cool to care about that, readers. There are only two kinds of people in the world: people who can sing along with at least one High School Musical song, and liars.).
A lot has happened since my last blog post. First off, I took my finals and fall term has ended. Finals where as hard as I expected and I felt I had studied enough, and I was fortunate enough to not have to pull an all-nighter. When I got my grades last week, I found out I had done even better than what I had been hoping for.
There is absolutely nothing like being home for the holidays. I had finished all my finals. I was exhausted and sick of studying. But when I caught sight of the beautiful snow-covered mountains of my home, I felt myself relax. I’ve spent the break hanging out with friends and family, having fun catching up. I’ve been cooking and baking all the delicious things I miss eating when I’m at school. I’ve been sleeping in until noon and staying in my pajamas all day. It’s great.
The latter half of my time in Washington, D.C. turned out to be much more eventful than life before and during the shutdown. What began as a paying-your-dues internship – answering phones, sorting mail, and handling faxes – gradually evolved into meaningful work experience. I wrote letters to constituents, sat in on more committee hearings, conducted more research, and even made it onto C-SPAN a couple times.
I have realized that people will often attack your identity first to get to you and not only is this demeaning but it can deter one from achieving his or her purpose. They will doubt you and ask you questions that will end up causing you to ask yourself questions about whether you are worth anything. You are alive for a purpose, so of course you are worthy. Many times, I have sat down to think about who I really am, my roots, my achievements, my experiences, and right there, that is where I found my identity.
It was certainly a straight up sprint to the finish, but my finals are all done, my last papers completed, and my mind at academic rest. That's right, folks, the Fall 2013 semester is now officially in the books, and not a moment too soon. As great as the semester was, there comes a time in every student's life that school is no longer as appealing as sleeping in until 10 AM and proceding to watch the entire first season of Lost for the fifth time. Now I can do that without feeling quite as guilty that I'm neglecting responsibilities!