You know the saying “these will be the best four years of your life”? Well, I like to be a little more realistic: While all four years might not be amazing, you’ll probably get at least one really good year out of the four years of college. For me, that happened to be my junior year of college.
This month, I finished my junior year of college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It’s crazy to think that I’ve completed three years of college and have one more to go. As excited as I am for the future, I first wanted to take some time today to reflect on how this past school year was for me.
I had my fair share of ups and downs but I felt like my junior year was, overall, an amazing experience. I learned a lot about myself and where I want to go in the future. I believe that my junior year was a turning point in my life. With that said I’ll reflect on my junior year by breaking it down into 4 categories: academic, career, personal, and social. Let’s get started!
I thought that my sophomore year of college was my hardest academically but then my junior year came and slapped me in the face. My grades definitely took a hit my fall semester. I was focusing more on career prep and my new job, so my academics weren’t as much of a priority.
Despite all of the academic challenges, I managed to get it together my spring semester. I don’t know how I did it but I finished the year with a 3.6 GPA. This was the first time I finished with all A’s in college. Also, I surprisingly made it through with an A- in my Geography class. My Geography class started off a mess with me getting a 72 on my first test. To see that I ended the class with an A- was icing on the cake. I guess you could call me a geochemist. *flips wig*
What makes junior year such an important year in college is all the career prep that needs to start happening. For me this meant having clips of my work out on the internet. I did this by getting an internship here at College Fashion. I also continued writing for my campus newspaper, joined a newly founded online publication, and finally made my own website.
Making a website was the biggest step for me. I’ve wanted to make one for a while but I was always scared: I didn’t know exactly how to design one and couldn’t decide what I would put on it. After doing photography for a few months, I decided it was time to launch my website.
I used the platform Wix and found website creation with them to be super simple. It took some time to come to a decision about the design but now I’m content with how my website is structured. Of course, I’m still perfecting it as much as possible. I try to update it regularly so it looks fresh and new. Recently I reworked my photo page and now it’s more cohesive. I believe having a website will help me when it comes to applying to jobs.
My personal life during my junior year can be summed up by the word learning. I learned to do new things and I learned about myself. For example, I picked up photography. My good friend Caroline took time out of her schedule to teach me how to use a camera, about lighting, angles, and more. She helped guide me to learn more on my own, sparking a new passion for me.
While learning photography was fun, I also learned about myself internally. This year, I finally took my mental health seriously. I had never before focused on my mental health because I didn’t think it was important. However, in the beginning of the school year, I decided I had to do something about it. I finally visited my campus’ psychological health center. Though I haven’t been going regularly as of late, it was good for me to finally put my well-being first.
I met some of the coolest people ever this past school year. I was fortunate to meet most of them through my job. I miss working with them and seeing them every day. They were one of the greatest parts about my junior year.
My new friends each brought something different into my life. There was one friend who I could always be sassy with. I could always go to a few of them for deep conversations. Most importantly, they all let me be myself and come out of my shell which I appreciate the most. I love them dearly and I don’t think I would have had the great experiences that I had without them. So shoutout to all of them!
Overall, there were so many great aspects of my junior year — however, I don’t have all the space in the world to talk about them. Suffice to say it was a transformative year for me, and it really made me understand the concept of college as “the best years of our lives.” I hope I have an even better senior year and get the chance to reflect like I did here.
What has been your best year in college? What made it great? We would love to know. Thank you for reading!