Immediately, upon seeing that this was one of the words on the list, I thought of what my Freshman year was like. It was beautiful, messy, difficult, humorous, lovely, and absolutely chaotic. For today, I thought I would share some of the moments that stand out to me when I look back. When I think of my Freshman year, I don’t think of it as one year- I think of it as three individual parts that created the year. Each part does not feel the same as the others. It’s quite strange in a way, but it’s also kind of nice to be able to pinpoint the moments when things started to change. I’ve also left links to blog posts that I feel show the headspace I was in at the time.

Fall Quarter
I moved, I started classes, I worked for the custodial department and cleaned bathrooms. I struggled through three of my four classes (I’ve said this before, but oh my goodness my acting class really was my saving grace), which led to me FaceTiming my grandparents for math help and calling my mom in tears because my essays weren’t making sense. I spent my mornings in the library outlining literature on a whiteboard, my afternoons in acting classes and memorizing lines for scene assignments, and my nights trying my best to get a handle on my homework.

Of course, I can’t talk about fall quarter without mentioning that letter. In October, right before my midterms and the week before my birthday, I wrote a letter to the SDA church. I made the (grand) mistake of reading each comment on Facebook after Adventist Today republished it. That week was arguably the worst of my entire school year, mostly because I don’t think anyone can fully prepare themselves for such an influx of criticism from complete strangers. With that said, I am so thankful for the complete strangers who stuck of for me. You did not go unnoticed.

When I think back on fall quarter, I don’t really have the best feelings attached to it. College took a while to adjust to, and I’m glad those months are over. Still, I’m thankful they happened. I met some amazing people at the beginning, and I learned a lot of hard lessons that definitely paid off.

Blog posts that stick out:
Big Fish, Little Fish- The epiphany I had that made the transition from high school to college a little bit easier.
Why I Chose the Major (and minor!) That I Did- The part about my major is especially humorous to look back on now.
To the Seventh Day Adventist Church- I’m still not sure if I’m glad I wrote this or not.

Winter Quarter
When I think back on winter quarter, many things come to mind- sunflowers, children, ferris wheels, and Oregon. I was lucky enough to work the local theatre’s production of Calendar Girls as a dresser, and that opportunity allowed me to meet so many cool people, and I simply got be in a theatre for much of the time. For that reason, January was an amazing month. A busy one, but an amazing one nonetheless. In winter quarter I also started working with a lot of kids on Saturdays. If you think of VBS but on a weekly basis you’ll get a pretty good idea. I was also in my first college play, called Ferris Wheel, and although it went off to a rocky start, it mellowed down (for the most part), and I’m thankful for the experience. In the middle of February, I went to the KCACTF conference in Oregon. I got to spend a week learning more about theatre and be with people who are inspired by the same things I am. It was truly remarkable experience.

Throughout winter quarter, I was with people I loved, and I started to settle into a group of people that I love. I laughed a lot, and when I think back on this quarter I always do so with happiness.

Blog Posts that stick out:
Why I Changed My Major- Haha. Yeah… This is also pretty funny now.
Detox Tea Talk: January 2019- Wherein I discuss the business that was January.
Detox Tea Talk: February 2019- Wherein I discuss the business that was February.

Spring Quarter
If one thing continues to stick out from this year, it’s A Wrinkle in Time. I know I’ve officially said goodbye to it now, so I’ll try to keep this part brief. All I’ll say is that, had it not been for AWIT, spring quarter would have been completely different. Through the play, I connected with people who I didn’t know very well (if at all) at the beginning, and I can’t possibly be thankful enough. During the rehearsal season and then the run of performances, AWIT was basically the only thing I thought of. Still, I had other classes. I learned how to clearly articulate my problems with the United States in my privilege and oppression class, how to explain how media affects society in my communication and languages class, and that I’m pretty darn guarded and afraid of true vulnerability in my acting class. I also wrote a ten page paper on how drama therapy can help children cope with trauma for research writing. I was pretty busy.

After AWIT ended, my life quieted down quite a bit- aside from a scene assignment that controlled my brain for the remaining weeks. But on the whole everything got pretty quiet. I went on a lot of walks, got up early (5:30 a.m.) to study in a bakery, and started writing a little bit more. This quarter was definitely my favorite, and it is what is making me miss Washington so much right now. The people I got to know are so wonderful, and I miss them dearly. Still, to take my own advice, it’s good to miss people. It means you love and you are loved, and those are never bad things.

Blog posts that stick out:
Claira Changed Her Major Again- Oh goodness. I’m really thankful I (finally) found my academic home.
Space- My goodbye to A Wrinkle in Time
Hands- A poem that summarizes my entire Freshman year, really, but especially spring quarter.