By Timia Cobb
Web Content Contributor
I had a plan for my sophomore year. I was going to be a good student, be more confident, be hardworking and be better than I was during my freshman year of college.
In my freshman year, I was clueless, I got excited by the first guy who looked at me, I barely made any friends and I overthought everything.
My sophomore year was supposed to be different, and in some ways, it was. Although, with having this school year cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I can’t help but ponder on all the ways I messed up my sophomore year.
1.) I Didn’t Do Enough.
I believe anyone at some point in their college career will look around and see that their peers are becoming more successful or involved then them. Other people’s success makes some people realize that they maybe haven’t done enough and this is the circumstance I find myself in.
I sadly, always set my goals too high for myself. I push myself to do more so I won’t have to in the future.
Despite having multiple volunteer positions and a job I love, I still need to do more. As college students, we sometimes get overworked and allow the goals we set for ourselves to be seen as not important because we’re tired or too busy. I let that happen.
I got lazy and didn’t encourage myself to meet the goals I had set. I wanted to join multiple organizations this year but never did.
I, however, am still proud of what I did this year. I have become way more experienced this year than I ever was in my freshman year.
This has taught me that people should strive to do more, but even if they don’t accomplish their goals this doesn’t mean they should give up. Instead, try to reflect on why you didn’t succeed and the next time you try, you will.
2.) I Put Myself Down.
No one is perfect. No one looks in the mirror every day and is 100% in love with what they see, outside and in.
Of course, it isn’t always like that. My love for myself is so up-and-down it makes me dizzy.
The cause for this is probably from me constantly putting myself down instead of motivating myself and getting over the little things.
When we’re anxious, we tend to blame ourselves for being upset, awkward or for just simply being our regular selves. This might not seem like a big deal at the time, but it can be in the long run.
For example, what if every day someone woke and told themselves they were stupid, ugly, unworthy, etc? They would start to believe the things they tell themselves, sadly. Which, in this case, I have.
It’s never intentional, but it happens. The best way I’ve learned to handle this is to practice more self-love, which is harder than it seems and exactly why I’ve put myself down a lot this year.
Nonetheless, self-love is a practice that takes years to master and I hope one day I will.
3.) I Worried Way Too Much About my Love Life.
My silly heart has a problem. My heart goes after people who don’t want to cherish it. Let’s spiral down the rabbit hole of my love life, where I convinced myself that the guy for me is out there. I continuously put myself out there to waste time on guys who aren’t worth it.
I feel like my generation has made ourselves believe that hook-up culture is all there is. Because of this, I and many other people in their twenties, have never been in a relationship.
Panic has started to sink in, which makes us think there’s something wrong with us, that we’re not worthy of love and who knows what else. This pushes us, even more, to find that special someone because of the fear that we’re destined to be alone forever.
My fear of being alone, of being 20 with no past relationships and of being a stranger to love, each caused me to go boy-crazy.
All of these fears caused me to let a guy into my life and spend all my sophomore year caring way too much about him. I cried over him and talked way too much about him, but I don’t regret it.
I learned that I can’t force someone to have the same feelings as I do, no matter how much I wish they did. I think this year also allowed me to get over the fear of being alone.
I’m ok with being alone because being alone and loving myself is way better than being alone with someone I tricked myself into believing I love. I think that’s something we all need to learn.
This isn’t my fault, but the pandemic did mess up a lot of things in my life, that is why it’s included.
This pandemic made me end my sophomore year the opposite of how I wanted to. I didn’t get to say goodbye to all my friends, I had to resign from my job and come back home and it stopped me from completing multiple projects that would’ve helped build my resume.
Overall, with everything having to close–including school—it made me realize I took a lot of things for granted.
Which leads me to the next two reasons on how I messed up my sophomore year.
5.) I Was Kind of Selfish.
Most people have a lot going on in their lives. They get caught up in their problems and forget that others are going through the same thing as them. I took my friends for granted. I became a broken record on repeat that could only talk about me, making me forget to ask how my friends’ lives were.
I wasn’t there for them and to ask them if they were OK. They became my Bonnie Bennett and me the annoying self-centered Elena Gilbert, which is the last person I’d want to be.
Now that I reflected on this, it makes me realize that my friends aren’t my therapist and maybe I should look into getting one. Friendships should be equal and I nor anyone should ever use people as emotional outlets because that’s not fair or friendly to the other person.
6.) I Didn’t Enjoy the Little Things.
Yes, I religiously quote a zombie movie, but the quote is true, you got to enjoy the little things. I didn’t do this enough this year. I took a lot of my happy moments for granted and didn’t fully enjoy them when I could.
Now that we are all trapped inside due to health reasons, I can’t help but reminisce about all the fun moments of my sophomore year and it makes me sad that I didn’t cherish them when they happened.
While in college, we get to experience a time in our lives that should be amazing. Times that we will look back on and wish we could go back to. For me to not be living my best life and enjoying the little things now, it isn’t acceptable.
I’ll push myself to live my life without being held back, to enjoy the little things because who knows what tomorrow can bring. We only have one life, might as well live it to the fullest.
I say these six things messed up my sophomore year, but maybe they didn’t. I know I didn’t do all the things I wish I did, I was selfish and spent too much time worrying about things that didn’t matter.
I feel like I wasted time, but if I didn’t do all these things I wouldn’t be encouraged to be a better friend, to teach myself self-love and I wouldn’t know what not to do in the future. I might’ve messed up, but that just means better things are to come, hopefully.
Featured image by Timia Cob via Canva.