In many ways, 2016 was one of the best years for me (read my highlights from the year here!). Although my first semester at Lehigh wasn't ideal, 2016 also included an incredible second semester of high school, a few of the greatest trips I've been on (not quite as outstanding as my multiple European adventures in 2015, but I still can't complain), and some really amazing blogging growth that I have all of you to thank for! It's hard to believe that my winter break is already half over, because I feel like I've been so busy since being at home that I haven't even had time to just relax and do nothing, which was something I craved so much when I was at school, studying all the time, and kind of totally dreading my existence at Lehigh. That said, I haven't exactly set out goals or resolutions for 2017 quite yet, but I have started to think about where I want this year to take me, and I thought it might be helpful for me to organize my thoughts by sharing with you all where I am at with that.
Before I started my first semester at Lehigh I asked my brother, who is just one year older than me, "is college fun? like, do you love it," and he told me that college isn't necessary fun all the time, but it's more so interesting, because you figure out so much about yourself. He tried explaining to me what that meant, but it's a little hard to comprehend if you've never found yourself in a situation like that. This was definitely a recurring thought in my mind throughout my semester, and something that, now, I couldn't agree with more. In 2016, I learned that I need to do what makes me happy, and I need to figure out what happiness means for me, because what I had thought was what I wanted is not necessarily what I want, nor what I should contain and limit myself to.
Let me explain what I mean: since my first visit to Lehigh in February of my sophomore year of high school (so crazy to think about!), I pretty much knew I was going. I knew I'd apply early decision, and if I got in, I was going. When senior year rolled around, Lehigh was the only school I was considering, and the only school I applied to, with the exception of one safety and one random app that I submitted half-complete because I was bored. The point is, I limited myself so strictly to what I thought I wanted, because I thought what Lehigh offered and what Lehigh "is" that I would be so happy there that there simply was nowhere else that would be a better fit. Then, in 2016, I got to Lehigh and I hated it. I wrote about my experience in this post. I cried everyday. I called my mom every night. I begged my parents to let me drop out, or to let me transfer, or even just to fly me home for weekends. I left school as much as I could, and I rarely went to parties. I felt completely lost, because I had the opportunity to pick any school in the country, and I picked Lehigh, I thought that was my dream, and then I was so, so wrong about it. But here's the thing: do you know how many people hated first semester? A lot. Two of my friends of all of my friends like their colleges right now. It gets so much better, but that doesn't make it easier.
Driving home from Chicago yesterday after dropping my brother back at his apartment at school, I was talking to my mom about what to wear to rush since I will be going through rush right when I get back to school in two weeks, and I started to cry in the car. I've always wanted to join a sorority since I was little. My mom was a Phi Mu at Purdue and her sorority sisters are some of her best friends in the world. When I chose a college, I knew I wanted greek life, and that I wanted to live in a house with my sorority sisters. And now? I couldn't care less. I don't want to go back. I want to be so open minded, to go back to Lehigh and go through rush with an open heart and open mind and clear eyes and a great outlook, but it's so hard. I keep asking myself, why? Is that going to make me happy? If I was wrong about Lehigh, am I wrong about this too?
2016 taught me that change is hard. 2016 taught me that I want to be happy, but I just don't exactly know what that means. So, I guess my goal is in 2017: find what makes me happy. In 2017, I want to find what really clicks for me. If I figure that out, and I make that work at Lehigh, then that would be amazing. I think deep down that's what I want... I want to stay. I wish it'll be like everyone says; first semester is the worst, but you go through rush, you trust the process, and you end up where you should be and you're so much happier. I sincerely hope that's what happens. But, if not, that's okay. I may have made a mistake in choosing a school, and it's really not the end of the world. In 2017, I want to find what makes me happy, and I want to work to achieve that.
I want 2017 to be the year where I figure out what makes me genuinely happy, and that's what I reach for, that's what I strive to achieve, and I can stop making myself angry and upset over so many little things. I want to stop knocking myself down, closing off my mind, and limiting to myself to what I feel I'm capable of or what I think I'm able to do, and let myself do whatever I want in order to achieve happiness.
That's where I'm at. I'm working on myself. I'm working on and focusing on my happiness, because that is the ultimate goal for me. I want to look back on my life, on this year, and say it was a great one because I tried to make myself happy and enjoy each moment as it passes. I'm not sure what it'll take, or even if this is something I'll ever really be able to check off as "accomplished," but I'm excited to see how it all pans out.
I'd love to hear where you're at in setting any goals you might have for 2017. Thanks for letting me rant ;)
love you. each of you! happy new year!