My first year of college is over, now what?

A look back to this time last year and everything I’ve accomplished

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College is been a wild ride. I won’t sugar coat it. And it has been a lot of everything — fun, boring, tiring, exciting, stressful, hard, easy etc. I like to picture one of those color wheels from a digital color selector and every possible color combination representing the past year of my life.

I almost didn’t go to a four year university. I was rejected from 6 out of the 7 universities I applied to. As April of last year rolled around, I was getting worried. This is everything that I wanted growing up and it was almost not going to happen. I began looking at community colleges and some other schools that were still accepting applications. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with community / junior colleges but I couldn’t see myself attending one. I didn’t want to. A few days later and I was accepted to the last out of the 7 universities. I cried when I told my Mom. This was the beginning of the rest of my life.

I met a lot of really cool people in my first year at college and a lot of them I’m still friends with to this day. I guess this isn’t really an accomplishment but I was worried about not being able to make friends with others since I hadn’t needed to for so long. I made some life long friends that would do anything for me and I would do the same. That’s something that I have gained during my first year.

I took Public Speaking for my Intro to Communication General Education (GE) requirement. It was a great class because my professor was so energetic and connected really well with out class of less than 25 students. I was already pretty good at public speaking but I wanted to sharpen that skill more and the class really helped me. I scored nearly 100% on every speech I did and I think that’s a great accomplishment. I didn’t score that high on the written exams and quizzes but I think scoring high on the speeches proves that I can speak well. This definitely helped me score a job later on, too.

Nearing the end of my first semester a presentation was held at my school’s library by Google and one of their engineers. His name was Justin Campbell and his title was “UX Engineer” which I think is super cool. He talked about what Computer Science majors would need to begin preparing to end up working or interning at Google. After the introduction of their Engineering Practicum Internship, I began my application right away. A few essays and a resume later I received an email saying that I moved onto the next stage of the application — a phone interview.

I scheduled the day and time for the end of January (2017) and began studying everything I needed to learn about data structures. The interview was brutal in terms of content and I wasn’t prepared enough to be selected but I learned a lot. I’ll take this experience with me to learn from it and better prepare myself for next year! Besides, who else gets to say they interviewed with Google in their first year of college? Probably not a lot of people.

I applied to be an Orientation Leader (OL) for the summer as well. The application was simple and I received an email about a group interview. I had never done a group interview before but it was fun! We had to solve problems and made up situations that could occur during an Orientation session. I moved onto the individual interview stage and that was also pretty fun. I guess an interview isn’t “fun” but I like to think of it as a game and I get to show off the best parts of myself to the panel. I find that pretty fun. I got the position and I’ve been loving every minute of it! Training was a lot of work but also very helpful and I learned how to climb a rope (long story). Through this OL position I was able to interview for a position as a Tour Guide for the school year. I got that position too! Joining this program was definitely a highlight of this past year and I hope that I’ll be able to leave a legacy here.

I’ve accomplished so much in just this first year. This isn’t for me to brag or boast my success. I think it’s nice to look back every now and then and see how far you’ve come. Give yourself a small pat on the back and then get right back to work. That’s exactly what I’m doing now.

Looking back, it’s been a wild ride. And as my second year of college is about to begin I’m more excited than ever but I’m just as equally terrified. It’s season two of the show I call My Life and things are about to get more complicated, more excited, and more uncertain.

Let’s hope all goes well this year.

Alternative Title: Fear of the Unknown