It is crazy to think that in a few short days my first year of college is going to be complete. As I reflect on this past year, I cannot believe how much I experienced in such a short period of time. Although the year went by fast, not a second of it was easy. To become successful at CMU, I had to focus on challenging myself everyday and taking time to appreciate the little things that brought the biggest smile to my face.

To be perfectly honest, adjusting to life at Central was difficult for me. Before going away to school, I was the happiest I had ever been in my entire life. I was doing what I loved surrounded by people I loved. All at once I felt as though that was stripped away from me. As time went by, I realized my family was what brought meaning to my life, so I had to adapt to them not being by my side.

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During the first semester, and into the second, I was incredibly depressed. Everyday I would count down the hours until I could go to bed because I did not believe my life had meaning. To overcome this obstacle, I created an affirmation journal. Everyday I would write down three positive things that happened to me. Doing this forced me to search for the good in each day, lifting my spirits dramatically.

As my attitude towards life started to change, I noticed a variety of opportunities coming my way. Two of my proudest accomplishments this past year were being selected as the Relay for Life LEAD Team Co-Chair and a student assistant in the Leadership Institute office. It is amazing what a change in perspective can do to a person’s entire well-being.

My experiences this past year reflect the “Adaptive Leadership Theory.” After being put in a circumstance foreign to me, I adapted to the situation. I used challenges encountered  to push me to accomplish even greater things at CMU. Working towards overcoming this personal obstacle has provided me with an abundance of strength and determination. This obstacle has empowered me to never let a challenge stop me from accomplishing my dreams.

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