student in public library
Photo credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

On Friday, May 3, I took the last exam and submitted the last paper of my freshman year at college. (For those who are curious, the exam was for linear algebra and the paper was on the philosophers I studied this semester and their views on the transcendentals.)

My first year at college, nine hundred miles from family and outside the comfort of our cozy home school, was eye-opening socially and academically. I met dozens of students from a multitude of backgrounds and with perspectives on family, school, and life in general that differed from mine. I gained an even greater appreciation for the love and closeness that my parents have fostered in our family; I’ve been blessed beyond what I deserve on that front!

During this first year I met peers who expressed as much enthusiasm as I have for education and learning, others who approached it with “tamer” attitudes, and still others who seemed uninterested in the entire business. Among my professors, some conducted classroom lectures and discussions casually, creating a relaxed environment; others pursued a more structured course. In all of my classes, I felt that my professors really cared about my success.

I look forward to the next school year – when the Honors Program has a literature course scheduled, when I have two mathematics courses per semester instead of one, when I’ll have more opportunities to develop the relationships I began in 2018-2019, and when I can grow more in my job at the university library – but for now I am content to reconnect with my family and unwind over the summer.

The time for leisure reading has begun!

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile
Photo by Thought Catalog on