I can feel the summer heat beating down on me as I put my final clothes into my suitcase. I glance to my left and see my roommate Cara carefully packing away her CD collection that slowly grew as the year progressed. It’s hard to believe that nearly a year ago this tall girl with long flowing black hair and intimating ice blue eyes and I were complete strangers. Today, Cara and I are inseparable, and as we work together to pack away our dorm for the summer, we reminisce about the past year. While stuffing my clothes, posters, and books into their boxes I realize just how great freshman year was. I am about to place my ECAC Division III Metro Women’s Lacrosse All-Star Team plaque into my suitcase when suddenly Cara lets out a burst of laughter.
“Wow, Nicole, do you remember this?” Cara says in between giggles. As I walk over I see that she’s holding up a picture of an ear of corn that Noelle across the hall gave me as a joke. Most people at TCNJ know me as “Nice Nicole.” I’m the person whose door is always open anytime someone needs a good listening ear, and as a result, Noelle thought it would be funny to get me a picture of an ear of corn to hang on my door (just incase people needed to know where to go to find “a good ear”). Looking back on that picture reminds me of the group of incredibly talented people I met this year. The friends I made this year are priceless to say the least. Each one has added new value to my life, each has taught me something new, and each blessed me by showing me their individuality and intelligence.
My experiences this past year at TCNJ have changed the way I view success. The professors I had this year provided me with an environment that encouraged a thirst for knowledge; the experiences I gained, as well as the lessons I learned, became just as important as the final grade. As a result, my motivation this year became to learn as much as I could from the world around me, including the news, my peers, and my professors. I made it an objective of mine to become an active part of the world around me by engaging in activities around campus. I was determined and completely motivated to take full advantage of everything the college had to offer me. I became an active member of the women’s lacrosse team, as well as Habitat for Humanity.
As I continue packing I reach over to my wall and take down the framed article the local newspaper wrote about our chapter of Habitat for Humanity. I remember the hard work my peers and I put in as we devoted our spring break to helping victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Seeing the damage on television was nothing compared to what the city looked like in real life. My spring break this year was different than most college students’ spring break, but it made me appreciate everything I have. Being able to rebuild homes and provide hope to those who needed it most was an experience I will never forget. Through my experiences with my peers in Habitat for Humanity I learned the importance of being a member of my community.
At this point, my suitcases are almost completely stuffed, and I’m practically all packed up except for the few stray pieces of clothing I somehow missed and my copy of The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner that I plan on rereading this summer. Despite the countless debates my English class had the second semester about the novel and its intriguing characters, I’m anxious to read it again with new eyes.
I would consider my first year a complete success as I managed to meet inspiring people, achieve excellent grades, and contribute to the world around me, all at the same time. This past year at TCNJ has given me a completely new and rejuvenating outlook on the world around me, as I learned as much as I could and embraced college with a positive attitude. I’ve accomplished a lot during my first year at TCNJ, and I know that in the coming years I will continue to set and achieve new goals for myself as I overcome obstacles and grow as an individual from the unique experiences I have at this superb school. So, as I put my final clothes into my suitcase, I say so long for the summer, but most certainly not goodbye as I will be back soon enough to continue to fulfill my dreams at TCNJ.
let me know what you guys think ;) ....if you think its worse then before...don't be afraid to say so...be as honest as you'd like :) ... oh n if u can think of anything better for the title let me know too...thanks guys!! :)