The last few weeks of my sophomore year flew by in a blur of final papers, exams, revisions, late night worrying, late night baking, thought-provoking tête-à-têtes, Parlor Parties, and soft serve from Essie Mae’s. By the time I got home, the only thing I wanted to do was sleep. Fortunately, starting at 7:30 p.m. the Saturday I made it back, I was able to begin sleeping a ridiculously high percentage of the time. True, I’ve spent a good part of the past few weeks reading for fun, watching TV, and hanging out with friends from home, but sleep has been my primary occupation.
But now that I’ve gotten all that sleep out of my system, I’m awake long enough to reflect on the past year. In the beginning, I was really optimistic about the year. While there was more stress than I’d anticipated–– both academic and personal–– it was still a wonderful time. I strengthened my friendships with some incredible people; learning to bake, being mall rats, surveying roofs to climb, comparing Semitic languages, and just making silly faces at each other. I studied things I never would have imagined (if you’d asked me before spring of freshman year if I would ever learn biblical Hebrew or become even slightly proficient in Spanish, I would have said there was no way).
I was accepted into the Richard Rubin Scholar Mentoring Program, which paired me with a mentor, the chair of the Sociology/Anthropology Department, to help me find future opportunities. One thing that caused a lot of worry for me was helping to guide the Catholic students group through two changes in priests, which was challenging. Still, it meant that I got to know several members of the Dean’s Staff and other members of the Catholic community, and eventually we reached a happy solution.
So yes, the year had ups and downs, emotional moments and periods of tranquility, and at times I was almost overwhelmed with it all. But it turned out well–– my grades are good, my friends and I are close, the student groups I manage are thriving, and my future is beginning to come into focus. I’m completely boggled by the realization that I’m halfway through my Swarthmore career, but I’m excited to see what the next two years hold.