Sophomore fall is finished! It’s hard to believe I only have two more falls on campus. This semester was full of ups and downs and definitely challenged me more than the previous two. Between crazy weather (two hurricanes and a snow storm), a full class load, and starting a new job, I had moments where I felt so worn down. There were times I just wanted to “feel like a person” again. It’s hard to have a sense of self when you’re constantly running from one thing to the next and always surrounded by others.
There were also moments of incredible happiness and fun. I am continuing to build close friendships and I felt many of them solidifying this semester. I am also starting to find my niche and my interests within my academic field. I love my major still and haven’t changed once, which is shocking for those who know how indecisive I am. Though my classes were difficult this semester, I enjoyed them. I took a few fun trips and realized how lucky and blessed I am to be a college student with the ability to plan and pay for a wide variety of experiences.
I am currently sitting in the Atlanta airport, waiting out at 10 hour layover on my way to Peru for January. Again, how lucky am I? Posts about Peru will hopefully be up sometime at the end of January, but for now I’m going to go through the highlights of my previous semester.
In September, Hurricane Florence created a panic before it wrecked the Carolina coasts. I had to evacuate from school for 5 days and headed home with my friend Jane in tow. We had a great time relaxing, playing with my mom’s kiddos, and visiting places in Cincy. It was a nice break and I was happy to go home, since I hadn’t been planning on going home until December. It was difficult to not know what was happening at school and to watch the terrible news roll in about the damage in my adopted state. I volunteered to gather supplies for victims when I returned to campus and I’m hoping to get a chance to volunteer more in the coming semester and years.
Another notable event from September was family weekend. Even though my parents weren’t able to make it down, I had a lot of fun with my friends and their parents, who were generous enough to include me. My godmother also came up that weekend and got to see my soccer game! It was nice to see her and have some feeling of family.
In October, Hurricane Michael hit during our fall break. My friend Mackenzie and I went to visit my Uncle Jon in central PA/ Ocean City, NJ during the long weekend and had to drive because of mass flight cancelations. We had so much fun playing mini golf, eating good food, and spending time together, but again, it was difficult to hear about the damage our campus sustained. Thought we were spared from Florence, Michael brought high winds, downed trees, and power outages. Driving back to campus was a little bit unnerving because as we got closer we saw more and more damage. Luckily, Elon was somehow spared the worst again and we were able to stay on schedule.
My dad also came out to visit in October. He was able to see a few soccer games, both mine and the varsity teams, and we had a lot of fun hanging out. Our new favorite spot is the brewery and restaurant in Saxapahaw right by the river. I was happy to see him and to get a chance to catch up. I’m hoping he and my mom can make it out more in the future!
In November I went to William and Mary for a soccer weekend. It was fun to bond with my teammates and see some family friends in the area. I didn’t realize how much I missed traveling for soccer and I’m thankful that Women’s Club Soccer gives me the opportunity to continue playing and having fun experiences. I was worried I would get to Williamsburg and feel overwhelmed by a sense of home and longing to be at W&M, but other than a tinge of sadness I was fine. This was a huge relief because it reinforced that Elon is the right place for me and is my home.
I also went to Athens, GA the weekend before Thanksgiving for a UGA football game. Mackenzie lives in Athens and was nice enough to invite a group of us down to experience “real” college football. The game was very fun and I’m looking forward to going down for more games in the future.
My dad’s family went to Smith Mountain Lake, VA for Thanksgiving week. We were all in one house, which worked out surprisingly well and enjoyed the beautiful lake views. We also were able to go see the National D-Day memorial and Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s retreat from Monticello. I love Thanksgiving because of the emphasis we place on family, and this year was another great trip!
The first weekend in December I went to visit my godmother for a night. She lives in Fayetteville, NC so the 1.5 hour drive is easy to make. It was so nice to relax and spend time with her. Getting away from he stresses of school right before finals was exactly what I needed. I’m hoping to make it down a couple times this next semester.
The last big event of the semester was the 13 inches of snow dumped onto campus the day before finals. We had one day off, three delays, and everyone had rescheduled testing times. This added to the stress of the last week and threw off most people’s travel plans. Luckily mine weren’t too badly affected and I was able to make it home in time to head to Toronto with high school friends!
Toronto was amazing! Canada is cool because it’s so easy to get to and to cross into. Also everyone really is super nice. We toured the CN Tower, went to the Christmas market, visited St. Lawrence Market, and wandered around the city exploring. There is so much we didn’t see and I’m excited to go back sometime soon! It was fun to plan a short trip kind of last minute and do something different for break.
After getting back from Canada, I relaxed, read, and spent quality time with my family. I am so excited to get to Peru and explore/hike for three weeks, but I’m also looking forward to the week I have at home at the end of the month.
I am really proud of all I accomplished this past semester and how much I was able to handle/juggle. My goals for the coming semester are to have more time to myself, explore NC some more, and reach out to new people to build more relationships. As always, long live Elon!
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