Last Reflections of My Freshman Year
April 30, 2012 by Crystal Lorenzo
I really don't feel like my last post did my freshman year justice so I felt obliged to give you some real heartfelt stuff to show you just what this year meant to me.
I do have to say that nine months ago (in August) I would have never imagined that this year was going to turn out as it has. I have grown so much through EAGLE as a leader and, I like to think, as a better and more self-aware person. EAGLE has taught me so much about finding my passion and making sure that I do things that I wholeheartedly believe in.
Before EAGLE, I had never really thought about my passion or purpose in life. I knew that I was “passionate” about cheerleading, but that was passion in a different sense. I loved to do it, I was good at it, and I always was determined to get better and better. In my eyes, that was passion. However, I now understand passion in a different sense. It's now something bigger than myself, it's a place where I can invest my time, energy and, more importantly, my heart.
Passion is what keeps us going. It's the reason we were put on this earth and the reason we have to keep on going through the good and bad. It's the deepest part of us that drives our actions and decisions and what ultimately will give our life meaning. This idea was first presented to us at the beginning of the year during an EAGLE workshop.
Through the different exercises that Professor Alegre had us do, I came across my passion: helping those struggling with depression, suicide, self-injury, anxiety and all other issues that come along with those. I want to show people who are stuck in the dark that there is hope and that things will get better. I want to do everything I can to prevent suicide and to wipe out the idea of suicide from people's minds, especially the minds of young teenagers. I want people to feel okay to open up and talk about their own struggles and start to work through them and overcome their pain.
My recognition of this is what, I believe, made my year what it was. From then on, I began working to make my dreams happen, as small as my efforts are given the resources I have at this point. I started the To Write Love on Her Arms club and fell in love with the organization and everything that it stands for. I've not only been able to share hope with others but it's been easier for me to remember that hope is real and that although things may not be easy, things will someday be more amazing than I can even imagine now. My attitude toward different things, such as addiction and self-injury, have changed as well and, although I've always considered myself a pretty accepting person, I now feel so much more open and accepting to people coming from all different backgrounds and struggles.
I look back on the past nine months and I can't believe all that I have accomplished and I am, for once, genuinely proud of myself. I've never been in a situation like that, one that Niagara University has presented for me. As I said in my previous blog, at Niagara I am looked at for what I can offer and what I bring to the table. I'm looked at for who I am and not who people think I am (the general trend in small towns). I think the most important thing that I'm trying to get at here is that I was given a fair chance from the beginning at Niagara, which is what I appreciate most. Thank you to everyone who has given me a chance here, who has helped me along the way this year, and has believed in me. It really hasn't gone unnoticed.
Since December, I have officially seen every To Write Love on Her Arms speaker! (: Last night, Denny Kolsch was here and it was AMAZING! I got to go with Gabe to pick him up from his hotel, and then hang out with him for an hour or so before he spoke. His speech was amazing, as per usual with To Write Love, and the compassion that they each have for complete strangers always inspires me.
I got to take him back to his hotel and chat it up then as well. It was so cool because, instead of just seeing his presentation and then saying a few words to him, taking a picture, and that being the end of it, I actually got to spend time with him, which was just AMAZING. If you remember how I felt when I met Jamie Tworkowski, imagine that all FOR LIKE FIVE HOURS! Yeah, it was FABULOUS. I proceeded to then spend way too much on To Write Love on Her Arms merchandise, but, hey, regardless of whether I buy a sweatshirt or use that money towards gas, I'm still going to be a broke college student, so I'm not too worried about it. I'll post the picture of Denny and me from yesterday, and you can just see the pure joy on my face.
I truly do feel as though I've grown so much in this one year, and I'm excited for all the things I have planned for next year. I can't wait for my club to really get going and do events and stuff, and also work with NU Alliance. We weren't able to do much this semester due to some issues getting going after the elections, but we have lots planned for next semester and I can't wait to see it all happen.
I had my last class of freshman year this morning and it just blows my mind to even see that written down. It really did fly by and I can't believe I'm already ¼ done with my college career.
AND I ALMOST FORGOT...This summer I am going to Florida for the To Write Love on Her Arms UChapter Summer Conference on May 31 with my friend, Rochelle! It's a four-day conference with the first two days similar to MOVE that I went to in December and the next two days being focused on leadership training for the UChapters. More excitingly, I am going to do a SURF CLINIC! I figured that I just have to do it before I die; it's one of those bucket list things, so even though I'm afraid of being under water and I'd rather not get eaten by sharks, I'm going to just go for it!
All in all, this year has been awesome and I have no doubt in my mind that Niagara University is where I am supposed to be.
Thank you all so much for reading my blog this year, I hope I've been able to provide some entertainment for you and insight into my crazy life here at NU! Hopefully, I didn't disappoint! (: