I cannot fathom that my first year of college is coming to an end. It seems like just yesterday that I was stuffing my car with all my belongings and moving into my dorm room on a very hot day back in August. I still vividly remember myself as an anxious high school senior. I was afraid that I wasn’t prepared to undertake the challenges of college. But looking back now, I can’t imagine myself at any other college and I couldn’t have asked for a better first year. I now realize that Barnard was everything I ever wanted in a college: a small, tight-knit community, surrounded by the greatest city, and a place that can challenge me both in and outside of the classroom. But the ease and assurance I feel now did not come to me immediately.
All through my life, the unpredictability of the future was my greatest fear, and I had no idea what to expect from college. I did not know whether I would be prepared for the academics, what type of person my roommate would be, what kinds of friends I’d make, what to expect from living in a big city (especially as a person from the suburbs of New Jersey), or if I was capable of being away from my family and friends for such a long time. I have to admit that my first month of college was a bit rocky; I had to adjust to a new routine in a new environment with new people. However, I eventually found my worries and insecurities being washed away as the months passed. I was participating in my classes way more than I ever had in high school, forming close relationships with people whom I had just met, getting very involved with campus life, and becoming truly happy about where I was in my life.
With my incredible peers in the Emerging Leaders Program at City Hall.
Most importantly, I was beginning to find the person I really was. It was like the flower within me was finally blooming. I was more outgoing, more courageous, more daring, and more positive than I had ever been in my life. I believe college doesn't change you, but rather it brings out the person you always were. This is one of the first times you’ll be away from home for a long time, without childhood friends to define the person you are and parents to make decisions for you. Although this seems a bit daunting at first, you will have the most rewarding feeling when you realize you’re far more capable of than you give yourself credit for.
A year ago, I never thought I’d be the class vice president, be a part of the student advisory board of an agency that helps more young women to be dominant in computer science, be a member of a program that teaches women to be leaders, and create friendships that will last many years to come. In fact, tonight I will be a recipient of an award at the SGA Leadership Awards Dinner. Reflecting on this year, I will always remember my humble beginnings and be grateful of the many doors of opportunity that have opened in front of me because of Barnard.
Some of you will choose to attend other schools, but I’m hoping that most of you will see that Barnard is the right place for you. However, no matter where you end up, remember not to worry about what lies ahead. You will be at the school you chose because you belong there and are ready to take on the challenge. Although I am sad that my journey with you through this blog has come to an end, it has been a rewarding experience and I hope you can take away something from reading about my first-year experiences. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope to see many of you on campus this fall!