Sophomore Reflection: Jenn Ryan, A Year of Growth and Positivity

Less than three months ago, if someone were to ask me how my sophomore year was going, I would have said absolutely horrible. I wouldn’t have given a pause to think about all of the good that has come to me, but as the end of my sophomore year draws to a close, I can’t help thinking that it hasn’t all been bad. In fact, it’s been surprisingly wonderful.

It might have taken me many months to get to this point of acceptance, but I have come to realize that my sophomore year has been one of major growth. From taking an honors class about monsters in literature to writing a paper about a personal demon of my own, sophomore year has taught me that I am able to overcome anything and everything.

Amidst a host of personal struggles, I learned that I have more friends than I could ever possibly imagine. I have also learned that broken friendships can be mended, no matter the initial pain. I have learned that everyone cares about me in some way, even if they aren’t my closest friends.

I have learned that anyone can give great advice, whether that be a student or professor. From this, I’ve come to know that most professors truly care about our health and well-being, even if they assign 20-page papers designed to break through our tough outer shell.

From this, I’ve come to acknowledge that there are many people I can count on to protect me, both physically and emotionally. My friends have their eyes out for me, as I do for them, and that is a pleasure unlike anything I have ever experienced.

Although I knew Wittenberg was something special the moment I stepped on campus, sophomore year has taught me that this campus and its people are something to be cherished at all times. There are hundreds of people on this campus, and once I got out there, I made many friends, and most importantly, memories, to be cherished forever.

I have come to have an immense love for 6 p.m. on Mondays. There’s truly something special about the seven other Torch staff members and advisor that will never compare to another group of friends. And when it hits eight, I know that I have the privilege of spending a half hour with some of the best people on this campus. You wouldn’t guess it if you aren’t involved in the Torch, but these people are some of the most caring people on campus.

However, my biggest takeaway from this year is that, although things may not have gone my way and they certainly seemed hopeless, they ended up getting better. It might take six months just to get halfway to happiness, but I got there in my own time.

I always remind myself that “everything happens for a reason.” And it does. It may take lots of time for life to show you the reason, but someday soon, you will understand, and from that understanding, your gratefulness will flow. Even if it’s for a broken pinky toe.

 

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