By: Laura Romero, Fulfillment Fund Student and Series Guest Blogger
Happy New Year! I can officially say I’ve completed my first semester of college. It’s crazy to think about it because sometimes it still feels like I’m in high school, especially now that I’ve come back home for winter break. My first semester at Columbia has been an important learning experience for me. I’ve learned a lot about the importance of balance in my academic and social life. It’s easy to fall into a pattern where you feel like you’re doing more in your academic life than you are in your social, and vice versa. My friends helped me maintain a healthy balance, and we all made sure to keep each other accountable, so it was nice to know I wasn’t going through this alone.
Speaking of them, they are one of the best things that have happened to me. I remember how nervous I was to begin my new life at Columbia because I was leaving my two best friends who had been in my life since I was in preschool. It was a big change to move away from those friendships and start new ones, but these new friendships have reinforced the belief that you are meant to cross paths with the people you meet.
Although my first semester was challenging, and I cried like never before, I’m grateful that I gave myself this opportunity to leave everything I once knew and figure out what I could do away from all familiarity. It’s also why since coming back home, I’ve realized how lucky I am to have a mom who did not hold me back and allowed me to venture out into an unfamiliar place because she knew it’s something I’ve always wanted. I never thought New York would end up being one of my destinations, and it feels odd, even now to know that will be my home for the next few years, but I’m grateful.
Finals week was stressful, much like midterm season, but my friends and I were so supportive to one another, and we would make sure to take breaks, even though there were many moments where I would get paranoid about a test, so I wanted to stay in the library all day long. My last week on campus was bittersweet because although coming home was something I’d been looking forward to, it was also hard to leave what I had grown used to, especially the freedom that came with living on my own. But being home has been great overall; I’ve hung out with my best friends and family, and I’ve finally been able to watch all of the TV I missed out on during the semester. I do miss my college friends a lot; it’s been really weird not seeing any of them.
As to this upcoming semester, I’m excited to take more classes related to my major, something I wasn’t able to do last semester. I’m also turning nineteen really soon, so I hope this year is full of me learning more about what I like and what I want to do with the opportunities I’m fortunate to have.
As of now, this will be my last blog. I want to express my gratitude to all of you for following me along my college journey thus far. I can’t wait for the blessings this new year will bring.