A tension often exists for me when writing these blogs - I want to show my readers how much I love Oberlin and all the amazing things that happen there, but I also want to be truthful about my whole experience: the joys, the triumphs, and the difficulties. No semester is ever all good or all bad. I'm living far away from home and trying to figure out who I am and what makes me happy; that takes a lot of trial and error. I hope you keep that in mind when reading this reflection on the school year so far.
Academically, this semester may have been the best I've had at Oberlin! I challenged myself in an upper-level seminar, successfully wrote a very long paper, and developed a greater understanding of research and the goals of academia. I declared my major and am totally happy with the Comparative American Studies department. Before I went to college, people were always telling me that I would find amazing faculty mentors at Oberlin. And now I really have! I love the academic support and inspiration I'm continuing to find at school.
But, in all honestly, my social life wasn't so great this semester. I've heard people talk about how friendships often shift between freshman and sophomore year - that really rang true for me! It's been a little difficult figuring out how to navigate college without a big group of friends like I had last year. I don't know if it's the snow, the layout of dorm buildings, or maybe my introverted nature, but campus can feel a little lonely and isolating sometimes. I'm still looking for more everyday people, like family. Everyday people aren't just there at activities and events; they would sit in my room eating gummy bears and complaining about homework, they'd know about all my little stresses and triumphs, and they'd hit me up for dinner most nights. My boyfriend Joey is absolutely my everyday person, and I have a few other people who I can rely on too. But an everyday person was the kind of friend I missed most this semester, the kind of friend who would make Oberlin feel like a home.
That being said, a ton of awesome things happened this semester too. Here's a fun little list:
1) My sister and one of my moms were able to visit me at separate times. It was a rare treat, since plane tickets are so dang expensive! I loved having them in Oberlin and bringing them both to Agave, the burrito place I frequent all the time.
Taking a walk at the Arb with my sister Sonia!
2) I got to see Alison Bechdel speak when she came to Oberlin in October! She spoke about her time here, as well as the process of writing and illustrating her books. The next night, I went to see Fun Home in Cleveland for just ~five dollars~!!
3) Joey and I were BOTH Rosie the Riveter for Halloween. People really didn't know what to make of us.
4) SNOW! So much snow! I still feel happy about putting on my big coat and shuffling around campus. But I've heard that this year is going to be a cold winter, so check back with me in April and see if I'm still feeling excited...
5) I just stepped down from my yearlong position as co-chair for Students United for Reproductive Freedom. I'm so proud of our group and the community we've created. I'm excited to move on to other leadership opportunities, but I know I'll remain a devoted member of SURF!
6) I got to perform in Finney Chapel with my acapella group for the second time - check out our performance! I've loved every minute of my time singing with the Acapelicans so far!!
I'm really thankful for the friends I've made and the people that stuck with me this semester. Now I have six weeks to sleep, eat my mom's yummy pasta, and let the people I love help me figure out how to make more community at Oberlin. It'll take courage to go back to school next semester and keep putting myself out there socially, but I'm going to do my very best.