Farewell to 2014: Reflections and Memories


It’s approaching that time again – 2014 is coming to a close and 2015 is right around the corner. I’ve never been one to make a big deal over New Year’s. I never really enjoyed going to the parties or counting down until midnight. Despite this, I have always been one for reflection. I enjoy looking back on how I changed, improved, struggled, grew and whatnot over the year. 2014 has been crazy.

[Note: This is sort of like a scrapbook, so there are lots of photos along with the reflections. 🙂 Hope you enjoy them]

I cannot believe that I’ve been in college for a year and a half now. Sometimes it still feels like I’m just on a really long vacation or in a dream and I’ll wake up and be back in Louisiana in high school. Then I pinch myself and realize that it’s real.

This past year I took classes that I loved, and helped me to find my passion. I went to the Quidditch World Cup in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with my team, where me made it to the bracket of sixteen! 

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I worked an incredible internship with an amazing team of bilingual therapists in North Carolina. I went to a private event at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley expansion in Orlando and was able to achieve my every childhood dream of riding the Hogwarts Express to Hogwarts with my best friends.

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I traveled to San Francisco, and spent an incredible week there with my family. I absolutely fell in love with the city.

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I spent my first year as a counselor at Camp Kesem and met the most amazing college students and kids I have ever met in my life. Since camp, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to serve on the Coordinator Board with some unbelievable people. 

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I moved into a house with people I now consider my second family. This family has helped me so much during this extremely difficult semester.

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I saw a ton of my favorite bands in concert (The Fray and 1D for life!)

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I went to an event in New Jersey where I met some of the most inspiring creators on the Internet, engaging in activities with them and the community.

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I started working a job that I am actually really enjoying. I have never felt so involved with a cohesive team of co-workers as I do here. I helped my chapter of The Harry Potter Alliance to give away over 20,000 books for free to people in the Detroit community.

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That’s only a few of the amazing things I’ve had the opportunity to experience this year. Despite all of these incredible things, it has been a pretty difficult year as well. My mother was still fighting breast cancer, going through treatments all spring and summer. My classes were a lot harder this semester than they were my freshman year. I was incredibly busy juggling school, work, the three organizations I’m involved in, and trying to fit eating and actually socializing in between all of that. The stress sometimes brought out the worst in me, and I don’t like that. Through this, I learned ways to help my anxious mind, and to channel my sadness into activities on my bad days. This year taught me a lot about myself, my passions and goals, my strengths and weaknesses, and my worth.

I can’t wait to have all of 2015 for even more learning experiences, discoveries, journeys and adventures. I bid you farewell 2014, but you will now only live in Instagram photos, tweets and memories.

On hoMesickness and its effects


A year ago, I made a crazy decision to leave my hometown and move to a place I’d only visited once to go to school. I am constantly asked why would I even think of choosing to go to the University of Michigan when I grew up in Louisiana. I have yet to have a good answer to that question. At first, I would try to make up some logical explanation for my decision. Now, after completing an entire year as a student in Ann Arbor, I still don’t have a reason for my decision, but I do have so much proof as to why it was the best decision I have ever made.

It’s been a long year, but so much has happened in that year that it’s felt like it’s been ten. I remember my first day at Michigan, after my parents dropped me off at my dorm and left…I was terrified. I didn’t know anything about this city. I did not know a single person in this city. The only people I “knew” were my two roommates who weren’t moving in for another three days. Those three days were horrible. I barely left my room. I watched a lot of Netflix and cried a lot. I ate a lot of Ramen to avoid having to try to find my way to West Quad. (Boy, did I not realize how well I would know how to get to West Quad later). Finally, my roommates moved in, and all of that worry quickly started to dissolve away.

Those first few months were hard. We were all incredibly homesick. I just wanted to talk to someone about something familiar. It is absolutely the strangest and unexplainable feeling to be somewhere with people who didn’t know anything about your past or where you came from. It is so crazy to be somewhere where there is no one familiar anywhere. Despite the homesickness, I had started making new friends, and I loved it. These people were definitely different than everyone back home, but I loved that. It was so cool learning about different parts of the country (and even the world). The rest of the year was crazy, all because I was putting myself out there and trying things that I wouldn’t have tried if I were at a school back home.

This year was insane. I started my own chapter of a non-profit on campus with girls who I now consider my closest friends. I joined a different non-profit to become a camp counselor for kids who had gone through the same crappy stuff I had gone through. I took a bus to Chicago with my roommate to see a show and get lost downtown because screw public transportation. I sang karaoke at the top of my lungs until one in the morning at a sketchy karaoke place in downtown Ann Arbor with some of my closest friends. I traveled all over the Midwest and all the way down to South Carolina for tournaments with a sports team made up of people that I consider my second family and who I would give anything for.

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I can remember at the beginning of my journey as a Wolverine, I heard other out-of-state students telling me, “You’re going to be homesick now, but wait until the end of the year – you’re never going to want to go home.” I didn’t believe them. I missed my friends and my family and my dog and I could not imagine feeling like staying in Michigan instead of going home. Man, was I wrong. The last three weeks were consumed of the overwhelming sadness that in such a short time, I would be going back to North Carolina for three months and that that was very far from all of my friends. I started to realize that for three months, I wasn’t going to wake up in the same room as two of my best friends or fall asleep after giggling over Tumblr posts or YouTube videos with them until three in the morning. For the next three months, I didn’t have Quidditch practice or parties to look forward to (Who am I kidding? I never went to practice). For three months, I was going to have to work on Friday nights instead of eat pizza and watch Doctor Who with two girls who understand me better than anyone else.

But after being sad because of all of this, I realized that it was going to feel so good to come back to Ann Arbor in August. So, to end all things like they should be ended…with a Harry Potter reference:

“It feels strange to be going home, doesn’t it?”

“I’m not going home. Not really.”

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So, until August, Ann Arbor and everyone in it. I’ll be counting down the days until I am hoMe.