I’m in an airport right now and while I should be writing an economics paper, I’m blogging instead. I have an affinity for airports and they always make me think. Airports are like flying without the flying part so I think that’s why I like them so much. They are full of hope for the journey ahead. I actually really like flying, I’ve just developed a small fear of it with all of the recent fiascos. Thankfully no one was sucked out of the window on my last flight so that’s a plus. Anyway, I’m currently listening to Taylor Swift (note the title of this blog–I hated Reputation at first but I’m obsessed now) and eating a Wendy’s Frosty as I reflect on my sophomore year of college. What a year it was.
This was one of the most transformative school years of my life. I feel like I say that every year but I guess that’s a good thing. The Fall 2017 semester was crazy to say the least. I had a lot going on. I took a lot of credits “for fun” (it was fun sometimes but not all of the time), expanded my extra-curricular involvements by a billion, and lost sleep as I struggled with depression and anxiety. I love people but I sometimes put people second over things last semester and I regret that. My favorite things about last semester are attempting to learn Arabic and speaking at She Should Run’s National Conversation in D.C. (Side note, I love D.C. and absolutely WILL live there one day). But those are things. I wanted the next semester to be about people.
At the beginning of 2018 I resolved to deepen relationships with family and friends. At first, I legitimately made a list on my phone of people to have lunch with. Then after a few weeks I deleted the list and decided to just wing it. I recently read the book Everybody Always by Bob Goff (just finished it today actually) and it was life changing. He talks about something in the book that I realized a few weeks into January–God doesn’t give us an agenda of how or when to love people. Loving people is the agenda! So when I was hungry I just started texting people asking if they wanted to get lunch or dinner. I have a planner that I usually use religiously but by the end of the semester I literally threw it away and just started meeting up with people for meals and talking and smoothies. This opened so many doors for deepening relationships and fostered meaningful conversation. By this last week of school, I got really sad because it was hard to say goodbye to everyone. I’m so thankful for Temple and all of my friends there though that the thankfulness overshadows the sadness and makes me excited to eventually return again.
At the same time I was focusing on learning and growing with my friends at Temple, my hometown heartstrings were starting to get pulled a little more. I actually felt so homesick at various times throughout the semester that I would start crying in the middle of trying to do homework–needless to say I probably didn’t get a 4.0 this semester. It’s okay though because I invested my time in people instead. To cure my homesickness I started calling my parents or grandparents when I got lonely. My Mema texts now and in previous semesters simply texted her throughout the week–this semester I texted AND called. When I got especially lonely I would call my dad just to talk. Sometimes it made me more sad that I don’t live closer so I could just give him a hug or go eat Chick-fil-A like we always do when we’re together, but it made me more appreciative of my eventual time at home. I talk to my mom and sister a lot more too, and I even went home for Easter when originally I wasn’t supposed to. I’m glad I did.
I started calling good things “a move” this semester, and investing more time into relationships was THE move, let me tell you. To bring this back around to Taylor Swift’s most recent album title, I set out this semester with the goal of earning a “big reputation” of loving others and investing in them. I can’t really judge my goal–you’ll have to ask my family or friends what they think because Bob Goff says “we’ll become in our lives whoever the people we love the most say we are.” I hope the people I love the most say they feel invested in. I’m still working on listening to others more in conversations, but I’ll get there. As Bob Goff writes, “we can’t love people we don’t know,” and honestly all I want is to live a life of love as I really get to know people along the way. I think sophomore year was a good start.