I’ve just packed up my life into moving boxes, checked my student portal to see my final grades, and campus is pretty much cleared out… which means it’s officially the end of another year again! Junior year at Georgetown is over which means I’m technically almost a senior now… crazy. I feel like I’m pretty reflective throughout the year and write blog posts about what I’m learning along the way, but I think this year would be incomplete without a full fledged end of year recap post, so here we go!
This year was my Junior year at Georgetown University, but only my second full year on campus because I was a covid freshman. It is really strange to compare this year to this time last year. I feel like last year, after spending my first year away from home, I was so ready to get out of here. Last year I went through a lot of learning and came out stronger on the other end, knowing how to take care of myself and live an independent life. However, this year I feel distinctly sad that the year is over and I’m enjoying just hanging around in Georgetown even after classes and exams are over since I’m here for a while for my sister’s graduation.
Last year was about piecing together my life out here in the US into something that resembled normalcy and this year was about filling in those spaces to fully build out that life into something that I can thrive in. What do I mean by that? Well last year was about learning how to take care of myself emotionally, physically, and mentally; I learned how to balance work and social life, how to do a lot of “adult” tasks, and how to live away from home. This year, I already had that base of an independent life out here, but I was able to add things to those base that made this life feel like one that I thrive in. I fell back in love with running, built new kinds of relationships out here, and found out what made me feel fulfilled and did more of that. I feel like this year took “adulting” to a whole new level.
When reflecting on the year, I wanted to think about some of the things that I got out of the year and some of the moments that I enjoyed the most. I wrote down a long list of them in my journal, and I realized that they all fit into one of three categories: building relationships, taking care of myself, and pushing myself to grow. I feel like I could call these my three themes for my junior year because most of my most enjoyable or meaningful moments and experiences fit into them.
Starting off with relationships, I think this year was different because I came into the academic year with existing relationships, unlike my first year on campus where I was making all of these relationships for the first time. I think I was more intentional with the way I spent my time this year, and instead of stretching myself thin by trying to build relationships with lots of different people, as is typical in the first year of college, I put a lot more time into a few relationships. A lot of my favorite memories of the year are small things like weekly dinners with friends, going on long walks and chatting, or giving/receiving small acts of kindness from friends. I think when I look back at my college experience in 20 years, the memories that I’ll remember will be these small moments of sitting on the lawn laughing with friends and the random snippets of funny conversation.
I also built out different kinds of relationships this year. I served as mentor for around thirty underclassmen in a student organization I’m involved in at Georgetown and that was hands down one of my favorite experiences of the year. I found so much fulfilment from teaching people new things and from investing effort into getting to know each student and making them feel special. I think this taught me a lot that giving back and making others feel happy actually makes me feel the most fulfilled; I feel as though this is something that I can take with me into future experiences, even though what I’m doing may look slightly different, I can orient myself to me that mentor and caring figure.
Speaking of different kinds of relationships, this year I also feel as though I gained a lot of experience as a mentee. I love the relationships I’ve built with different professors and people I’ve worked with, and I feel as though I have people out here who believe in me and who I can go to in the future for advice. It’s been a year where I’m pretty much enjoyed all of the interactions I’ve had at school and at work, and when each work experience or class has ended I’ve been sad about it ending.
The next theme of my year was taking care of myself. This pretty much falls in line with the first one because relationships are an important part of taking care of myself. I think one of the biggest reasons why this past year felt like I was building a full life out here was because I learned how to take care of all aspects of myself. I fell back in love with running, not because I felt like I had to exercise, but because I love how it makes me feel. I took the time to unwind and read a book each night which is something I always look forward to instead of just finishing up work and going right to sleep. I cooked meals a lot with friends because I found it therapeutic and it made me feel good about my body. I came back home at the end of a day and caught up with my roommates. And I found a balance of not getting too stressed out about school by making the effort to do all of these listed things that were important to my wellbeing.
And lastly, even though I was on this path and enjoying life, I didn’t let myself get comfortable; my last theme for the year is growth and pushing myself and I definitely did that this year. There were a lot of moments in this past year where I could sit back and think to myself… wow, I could not have done that a year ago. Whether those were pre-professional moments where I put myself in a somewhat intimidating environment and succeeded or a moment where I took on a task that made me feel nervous and I pushed through it, they were all moments of growth for me. Sometimes I recognized moments of growth just by realizing that I was taking on a lot of different roles and responsibilities and was able to thrive under the pressure of it all. It may sound cringey, but because I pushed myself and intentionally put myself in slightly uncomfortable situations, I feel older and wiser.
And those are the themes that defined my junior year at Georgetown: investing in relationships, taking care of myself, and pushing myself to grow. It’s been a great year where I’ve felt lucky to be here almost every day and where I’ve certainly learned a lot, whether that’s about different accounting formulas and economic models or just more generally about myself! I am so excited to head into my senior year at Georgetown and see what it brings!
In case you wanted to take a look, I also dug up my end of year reflection posts from my freshmen and sophomore years!
See you next week,