Semester Recollections..

16 Dec

Well, as I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel as this semester finally comes to a close, I’m doing my usual “Where did the time go?!” panic at the realization that the weeks seem to pass quicker and quicker every year. Most school semesters are pretty much the same for all college students, days spent sitting in class, nights spent cramming for exams and writing papers, and weekends socializing or, let’s be honest, partying. But thinking back on this semester, I have realized that this was probably the most monumental sixteen weeks of my life thus far.

First of all, I realized that I have spent the entire semester 100% sober. Now I am not saying everyone needs to do this, I understand because I did the whole partying every Friday/Saturday thing last year. And it was fun, I’m not going to lie to you. I had some really good times and memories that I still look back at and laugh. But gosh, it is just amazing the things you can get done on a weekend when you are actually of clear mind! I have been so productive this year! Every weekend I feel like I have all the time in the world to relax, do homework, go to church, visit with friends, clean house, and then some. It’s great. Not to mention I no longer have to worry about waking up to embarrassing stories, ridiculous fines from ResLife, or potentially dangerous situations. When you’re partying all weekend, you’re practically already drunk by the time class lets out on Friday, sleep til noon on Saturday, spend all afternoon recovering, start drinking again after dinner, and then spend all day Sunday recovering from that! Who in the world has the strength to do that every weekend, do well in school, and not feel like the living dead? Maybe some people. I, personally, do not.

Another difference about this semester is that I have had virtually NO drama. Slowly over the summer I had been making subtle, but conscious, decisions to phase out all the dramatic situations and people in my life. I have made amends (or at least attempted to) with countless people that I have had pointless bitterness between since high school, and have done my best to take a step back from friends who were habitually bringing me more drama then actual friendship. Everyone has something to complain about these days, ya know? It just gets old. There are so many other things to worry about in life. Eventually you get to the point where you just can’t stand to spend one more day hanging out with someone who only wants to bash everyone else. Or who tries to get you caught up in their own drama. Misery loves company and well, I’m no longer allowing myself to be used as that company. As a result I have gotten into a grand total of 0 bitch fights this semester :) Which is a record for me.

Thirdly, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Portland, OR for the Grace Hopper Celebration. Hanging out with 3000 other technical women for five days was an honestly life-changing experience. For the first time in my college career I felt 100% confident in my decision to be a technology major, I felt like I could accomplish anything. They made us all feel so important, I got to meet people from the top of companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, you name it. And at the end of the week, Google threw us a party. I mean, how many people can say that they have been to a party thrown for them by Google?! I have seen such a difference in my classes at school since then, having that level of confidence improves the learning experience so much. I learned so much on that trip, I can’t even describe it. Which leads me to another awesome facet of my semester… My internship! Coming home from GHC all inspired, I started applying like crazy to every internship I could find. In reality, I expected to spend my summer on the IT team at HibTac, which I was pretty confident my Dad could get me placed in with his connections, if nothing else. But like we learned at the conference, just getting your name out there and gaining experience with applications and interviews helps. But lo and behold.. After multiple interviews, I was offered an internship in the cities with Land O’Lakes! Which is huge. They have an absolutely amazing internship program, and it’s quite selective, so it is such an honor to be picked. I am so unbelievably excited for the opportunity, and I know this coming summer is going to blow my mind.

On a more sappy note, I said I had to cut out some friends this year, but I have also gained some pretty great friends in the last few months. I honestly do not know what I would’ve done this semester without my 203 family. I know for a fact that at least one of them is reading this right now and thinking “oh brother, here comes emotional Laura again” but just bear with me here because I mean it. We fight like siblings sometimes but I also never have to doubt the fact that anyone in the house always has my back.  These boys pretty much took me under their wing this fall, and no matter how whiny, feisty, hyper, or emotional I get some days (and believe me, I know I can be a chore to deal with), I have never ever had the feeling that I wasn’t welcome. After only a matter of months, I feel like we’ve known each other our whole lives. Ok, we kind of have, but you know what I mean. It really is a little family over there, and even though I get picked on an awful lot, I still feel completely respected. Which I guess you could say I’m not used to with some of my past experiences. And you know that these are kids of pretty outstanding character when my mom tells me that she feels like she doesn’t have to worry about me anymore because she knows that the residents of 203 are looking out for me!

And for the last, and probably most emotional milestone of the semester: William Patrick. My nephew. My nephew! It still blows my mind to even say it. I am just in complete awe of this precious, perfect little bundle of joy. I constantly want to hold him and just stare at him. The last year has definitely been emotional, because my sister has always been just that– MY sister. Not someone’s wife, not someone’s mom… But MY sister. We have grown up so close that I was having issues coming to terms with her ditching out on our family to start her own. And right when I was finally starting to be ok with the whole marriage thing, I get the pregnancy announcement sprung on me. Now don’t get me wrong, I have been excited for her since day one. But I will be honest with you, when I found out, I cried. And not tears of joy either. And for the first month or so I was being really selfish about it. Kinda mad, kinda jealous of all the attention, typical middle-child angst. But it didn’t take long before I got over that, the wedding in July was absolutely beautiful and perfect and I thought I could never be more proud. And then November 8 rolled around :) I got a phone call around 5am that Baby was finally here! I cried like you wouldn’t believe. But this time, they WERE tears of joy. Unfortunately this was the same day I flew to Portland, so I had to go an entire week before I got to meet the little guy. But let me tell you, everyone on that trip got an earful every single day and had to put up with me showing them pictures every two minutes of my beautiful new nephew. Words can’t express how proud I am of my big sister. It has been so incredible to watch her grow into this amazing woman, and to realize that all those years I hated the way she tried to act like she was my mother, God was just giving her practice so she could become one of the best Moms in the world.

As you can see, it’s been a pretty great few months. I feel like I have grown so much. I’ve finally dealt with a lot of emotional issues I’ve been sweeping under the rug for the past few years, I’m more than happy with who I’ve become, I’ve made awesome new friends, made great new memories with old friends, spent hours on Skype with a friend who is changing lives in AFRICA, watched another friend kick cancer’s ass, got news that my brother-in-law got a job in Duluth so he and my sister and the baby are in the process of moving down here, I’m passing all of my classes (as far as I know!), and I’m pretty much stoked to see what 2012 has in store for me. :)

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2 Responses to “Semester Recollections..”

  1. conservatarianthoughts December 16, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    incredible~

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Is it really that time again?! « Margie's Musings - May 5, 2012

    […] for my semester recap, it’s quite different than the last time I did this. If you recall my last semester recollections, it was all pretty happy-go-lucky. Which was fantastic. Fall 2011 was amazing and mostly carefree […]

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