Freshman Year: A Reflection

I’d like to preface that this post is mostly just for myself but for anyone wondering how Rachel spent her first year of college, you’re more than welcome to read along!

So, everyone keeps saying “Well, you’ve got one year down.” To which I want to reply, “DO I?!” because not only did that feel like the quickest nine/ten months of my life, but do I really have it down? My first year of college was full of ups and downs, hard classes and easy ones, not nice people and really nice people, and plenty of terrible choices proving that I definitely do not have this college thing “down.” But a year later, I can say I’m really working on it.

When I moved into Gilbert Hall ready for H4, I had huge reservations (and I mean working on transfer applications reservations) about Western and seriously wondered if this was the school for me. But thankfully, a few things showed me that it was.

For starters, I am studying things I love. Sure, I don’t have the most realistic career goals that come along with my degrees but I’m doing something I’m passionate about. I went in double majoring in International Affairs and Spanish, but after some wonderful advising, I have added a minor in Nonprofit Administration. Although I am going to have an hour packed three years (and am risking not graduating on time), the fact that I love my classes makes it all worth it. Also shout out to some amazing gals that let me complain about our major basically all the time. Lane Hedrick, Emily Houston, and Jen Cischke, thank you for listening to every complaint I’ve ever had about a Roger Murphy class and I can’t wait to knock this 45 hour major out together.

Secondly, I rushed an amazing sorority. Without this sisterhood, I wouldn’t have become involved in the campus community or the Bowling Green community. Service was such a huge aspect of my life in high school so finding a group of girls in college who feel the same way has been a major blessing. Another wonderful thing my sorority has given me is amazing friendships. Emma and Allison, I don’t know what I would do without you and our adventures–from running to Cook Out for milkshakes, to working booths together, to our group chats, my freshman year would not be the same without you all. Then there’s my family and boy do I have the greatest Little, Big, Grandbig, and Great GrandBig (and extended family) there is. So thankful for every Griff’s trip, Ashley and Amelia letting me watch The Mindy Project at their apartment (can’t wait to be your neighbors!), and every laugh we’ve ever shared (usually at my wild antics and love of FIJI boys (#GoTy)).

And lastly, I want to handout some thank-you’s because without those who have supported me along the way, I would have dropped out as soon as I realized I was going to receive my first C ever.

I want to thank WKU for a pretty great first year of college. Sure, I wish someone would have stopped me from making some pretty big mistakes (19 hours??? A Spanish major spending 4 months studying abroad in England???), but at the same time, WKU has already given me so much. Fantastic professors that truly care (and some less than fantastic professors), lectures to attend that are so much more to me than “swipe-able events,” Fresh breakfast (and as for the rest of campus, I demand MORE VEGETARIAN OPTIONS), the Colonnades for studying (tanning), and a large concentration of handsome bearded men. Also for maybe making Cuba happen for me; everyone cross your fingers.

And of course, an enormous thank you to my family, who support me financially and in every other way possible. Mom, you make the world go ’round–thank you for listening to me cry on the phone weekly but letting me solve my own problems and for proof-reading important papers and for sending me letters of encouragement taped to Starbucks gift cards. I’m also thankful for every text and call from my grandparents who constantly remind me how proud they are of me and encourage me to keep on keeping on. Then there’s Morgan and Mallory who have heard every gosh darn complaint in the book on my end. Thanks for celebrating with me last Wednesday morning, thanks for giving me great advice I should probably take more often, and thanks for making a friendship so sweet I can’t wait to come home and see you all.

This past semester has been extremely tough on me academically, physically (YAY FOR IRON DEFICIENCY), mentally, and emotionally. I’ve cried more in the past few months than maybe my entire life but after some much needed reflection, the college experience is worth it. I love WKU, my sisters, my friends, and my family so, so much that I’m almost sad to be leaving in a mere 99 days to go galavant across Europe solely for the purpose of improving my Insta game. Keyword of course is almost aka SEE YA LATER SUCKERS 😉. Life More Life rings true when in those special moments, WKU and everything that has come with it reminds you life is worth living.

OH, and I still don’t have a boyfriend for some crazy reason but that is literally an entire different blog post.

From the girl who still can’t believe she’s leaving the hill for an entire semester,

Rachel

P.S. Pictures say a thousand words so enjoy these from August 2015-May 2016.

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Y’all homecoming stressed me out and all my pomps were flat but late nights with these gals, screaming our heads off, dancing to Steve Miller band, and winning tons of awards was hashtag worth it.
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My team (North) at H4 dominated the spirit competition and I absolutely have nothing to do with that but I do sing the Fight Song weekly and it’s in my Top 15 Favorite songs.
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I think I’m in the 1 but this was months ago and I cannot remember.
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Like two weeks in and someone shattered the door cuz of course that’s what happens in college.
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Basically the cutest fam before we even knew it.
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The only Big Red I will ever associate myself with. He is the scariest mascot to ever exist and if I was dating a guy and he told me he was Big Red I would break up with him and have nightmares for weeks.
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Going to the Humane Society with sisters is such a better use of my time than studying.
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This is from moving in on the first day and it changed completely and I didn’t make my bed but maybe 3 times the entire Spring semester.
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Sometimes you have to skip class and go to the beach.
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If college did one thing and one thing only it was affirm my love for sticky notes.
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Told you Lifeway had a Spanish section.

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Sorry I lied to you, not sorry I’m your big.

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All these pics are cute and stuff but this is literally how I looked 75% time–makeup-less, confused, and so stressed I had to wear my lisp-inducing mouth guard during the DAY TIME.
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Best $28 purchase I have ever made; thanks Emma for getting one too.
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Chloe I am so sad to be leaving such a freshly made and beautiful friendship so quickly that I am including you on my blog and you should be very honored because some people have had to know me for 19 years to be mentioned on here.
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I crafted way too much this semester but it also made me way happier than doing geology homework.
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WKU, you’re beautiful.

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