This is a bittersweet time of the year for me. For the last fourteen years, August has always been “the start of the year.” It’s been exciting and depressing for many reasons. I’m always excited to start school, but it always makes me sad to know that I’ll be spending less time with my friends. Last year, it was extremely difficult saying, “See ya later” to people I saw every day for the last thirteen years. I knew exactly how I felt then: sad to leave my small hometown, nervous to move to a city, anxious to start college classes, excited to have a roommate and eager to create a whole new circle of friends.

This year however, I’m not exactly sure how to feel. The thoughts that are running through my mind when I think of the phrase “sophomore year” are applying for internships and making sure I’m doing what I need to be doing.

I’m no longer a freshman, which means this girl is saying goodbye to the Fresh Ideas blog to make room for someone else’s ideas. I thought about a lot of different ways I could start this blog, mostly inspired from essay prompts used in my Critical Analysis class: How would I describe freshman year in one word? How about in one sentence–  or if my freshman year were a song, what would it be?

In the end, I turned down all of those ideas. There’s absolutely no way I could describe this past year in one word. If I used just one sentence to talk about all the things I’ve learned, done, seen or experienced, it would be less than grammatically correct. What would turn out from describing my year in the form of a song would be a crazy mix of songs that would be less than pleasing to the ears.

So I ask myself what every member of my class is asking themselves, “What do I have to show for this year?”

When I was talking to my friends back home, the first things we had to say about our college experiences were, “Where did the time go?,” and “We’re sophomores already?” I was so happy to know that I’m at least in the same boat as everyone else. I’ve learned and done so much, but with three years left of college, I feel like I have so little time and much more to learn and experience.

I’ve had a lot of fun, but I’ve also gained some responsibility. I now know it is not wise to take naps in between classes. Procrastinating isn’t a competition to set a personal record and while taking notes on your laptop is awesome for saving trees, the internet can be twice as enticing as a lecture on the Roman Empire.

The one thing I’m glad I’ve gotten from this year is perspective. I didn’t go looking for it but I went back to Indiana, PA with a lot. From being at Gannon for a year, I’ve learned about living in a different environment. I’ve made friends with people from all over the world, heard their stories, and really gained a sense of self. I’m proud that I can now look at the world with a broader view, with a fresh set of eyes.