Scrolling through the Class of 2019’s excited, unique, and nervous Facebook posts, I can’t help but think back to 2 years ago when I was in those exact shoes.

What I thought when I wrote that first sentence

Mid-July-of-2013-me was preparing for my graduating concert in Indian Classical Music, eagerly pretending I didn’t need to make college lists, and aggressively correcting the general public about how to say JohnS.

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Dug this one out from one of our many Disney marathons at home. Us being big dorks and being wilderness explorers

I was quite the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed pre-frosh. I deliberated an insane amount of questions and then waited to see if any of my classmates would ask them, too nervous to post a question in the Facebook group myself. I read blog after blog and Buzzfeed after Buzzfeed, thinking I was preparing myself for the joys and woes of a college freshman. I made plans with my best friends, soaking in each moment, and wishing we were all going to school together instead of scattered across the country. I finally summoned up the courage to enter the SAAB Summer Blogging contest. When I got the email with my roommate information I immediately reached out to my first friends, and did the dedicated search for my suitemates so we could start our first suite group-chat. I successfully avoided organizing and shopping until the last days before we were scheduled to leave, resulting in mountains of supplies in our living room, which were neatly packed away after begging my mom for help. I was a bundle of nerves for our entire 15.5 hour drive, thinking I had a good idea of what my year and beyond was going to be like…and SURPRISE! I didn’t, but in the best way possible.

 

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starting the drive to B’more. Maybe I should feel more shame when I upload pictures

 

Within the first month, I realized that the one, absolutely, above-all-else true thing that all those blogs and Buzzfeeds predicted correctly, was that college was all about the experience. It was about taking leaps of faith, about a little less planning and a little more doing (except for exam season during which sticking to a plan saved my butt). And I was doing things I never thought I would be doing.

 

Entering the SAAB Summer contest, even though I didn’t win, showed me just how much I loved blogging, encouraging me to apply and luckily be accepted, giving me the opportunity to work with this talented, goofy, amazing group of people. With a push from my new friends I even auditioned for and joined an A Capella group. By the end of first semester I had solidified what I wanted to study. I had found myself a family at school, and learned how far I could push myself to get what I wanted.

 

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Biking around the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC this year

And even from those moments to now, so much has changed. Freshman year defied my expectations in both challenges and successes, and my pre-frosh self couldn’t have predicted what my experience was going to be in the years to come. I couldn’t have known that sophomore year would be one of my most academically demanding, and getting through it would feel like one of my greatest accomplishments. I couldn’t have predicted that so many of my friends are studying abroad or planning to, or that we’re all getting one step closer to figuring out what we want to accomplish in the world. There’s no way I would have known that I would be sitting here this summer, writing this blog in my very first apartment, and interning for a wonderful organization.

 

The multitude of experiences I didn’t expect, have taught me an incredible amount and have been shaping me into who I’ve become today. I can now confidently say I have no idea what’s in store for me this year or in the future, but that’s okay, because so far I think all the surprises have turned out pretty well.