I'm a junior in college. Still sounds so weird to say. I'm halfway finished with my last educational experience and I'm not quite sure how I'm feeling about it. I'm part relieved because it means I'm halfway done with 20 page papers, tedious group assignments, and taking the bus. But I'm also really sad because it means I only have two years left to make mistakes until I hit the real world, or rather the real world hits me. I know many of my readers are heading off to college this fall, so my first piece of advice to you is to take in every single moment. Don't take a class, a person, a professor, or anyone for granted and thank your parents every single day for the experience to go to college.
I've written more than once on the blog that my sophomore year of college was the happiest year of my life. I guess my social, personal, school and work life all came into harmony with one another and created the perfect storm and balance. I want to share my sophomore year with everyone in a series of snapshots from the past eight months. They say that college is a balance between social life, studies, and extracurriculars -- I found this to be totally true. If you love your major, your friends, and the clubs you're involved in, and you take the time to nurture all three, there isn't a way you can go wrong. Ultimately school comes first, and it's up to you to make those sacrifices of a weekend out for a weekend at the library. It's a trade that we don't want to make but sometimes have to. If you can manage to sort out what's important and who's important to you, you too can create that perfect storm and make your college experience incredible.
Let's start from the beginning...
My sister, Lisa, celebrated her 21st birthday at JMU the weekend before school started. JMU has a week of orientation for the incoming freshman and transfer students called FrOG week. The upperclassmen don't have to do anything, but this is the week where you move into your apartments and there's usually a few pool parties during the week. It's a nice time to catch up with your friends before heading off to class on Monday.
September was consumed with formal recruitment. I shared in this post what JMU's recruitment is like, so if you want more details head over there! Keep in mind, all schools do things a little differently. Despite the smiles on our faces in these pictures, this week was full of early mornings getting up at 5AM and sometimes staying at the house for voting and preparations for the following day until 2AM. It was a great week, full of memories, photos, and a new Alpha class though so who can really complain?
What's recruitment without bid day?? This year bid day with an absolute blast! We welcomed in around 60 new members to the sorority and celebrated all night long. I can't wait to do it again in just a few months!
Another great memory from September was the fact that my family came up to Harrisonburg for football games. The longest stretch of time that you're away from school is August through November. JMU doesn't have fall break so come October, I'm craving to go home. It was nice to see Mom, Dad, and Libbie every few weeks.
The one standout memory from October has to be College Gameday. This is Gameday's second time to JMU and probably their last for a long while. Our football team was incredible this year and it was a miracle that the Villanova v. JMU game fell on most bye weeks and all other games that were in front of us on the list of potential locations had games the previous Saturday's that didn't quite go in their favor. The entire week leading up to College Gameday was so exciting, so much so that many professors ended up cancelling classes. The morning of the taping I woke up at 3AM to get ready with my friends and make our way to campus. I will never complain about getting up for an 8AM class now after that 3Am wakeup call.
November and December were full of studying and trips home between Thanksgiving and Christmas break. Not too much went on at school. Just plugging away at work and in school. However, in January my dad and sisters made our way to Frisco, Texas for the JMU National Championship. I told y'all JMU had a great team! Between an incredible evening the night before with family and friends and not so fun Suburban fiasco (a story for another time), the trip was truly unforgettable. I ended up running into my best friend while there and she and our friend, Ava tagged along for dinner. Leslie and her boyfriend even drove over from Austin to join in on the weekend fun.
The highlight of February was Student Ambassadors. I talk about it all the time, but it is one of the things that made my sophomore year so great! Even though I was accepted in January, the festivities of it all didn't happen until February. It was in February that I have my first tour to a family from Long Island, I received my mentor (kind of like big/little), and received my polo and rain jacket which symbolize the end of the training process and your official invitation to the organization. I met so many genuine and good-hearted people though during February and made some lifelong friends.
I also fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine by going to my first New York Fashion Week in February. What a dream come true! My fellow Insta friend, Kirsten and I took the train up to New York for the weekend and sat front row at nine designers shows. I could cry just thinking about it. I wish we had a little more time in the city to explore, but with school and life in general we just didn't have that kind of time to spare. I miss it already though and hope to go back soon!
The month of March was mad and aside from St. Patrick's Day, nothing happened. It was one of those months where just about everything had to be sacrificed for school. I stayed in just about every Friday and Saturday. It was also a frigid month so going outside and enjoying the weather was out of the question. Now that I think about it, I recall a handful of snowfalls in March. April however, was a great month! It was busy with semester projects and assignments all bottlenecking before finals week. Between group projects, individual, projects, and huge papers it felt like April was so quick it didn't even happen. The first exciting this to take place in April was admitted students day for new freshman. I gave tours all afternoon to new student and their families.
Alpha Delta Pi festivities also consumed me last month. Between recruitment and PR photoshoots, Greek Sing, and formal I think I spent most of my free time either in the library or in the sorority house. All of it was totally worth it though!
So there you have it! My sophomore year in snapshots. Towards the end of writing this post, I had tears in my eyes. Seriously I am so lucky to have had such a great year at school this year. I have the most supportive family, the best of friends, and am fortunate enough to be apart of some incredible organizations that do so much for both the university and the community. Lucky doesn't even begin to describe it.