First of all, I realize I haven’t blogged in almost exactly four months, but there’s a good reason for that–Augustana took over my life.
Not to get all mushy and sentimental, but it seems like it was just yesterday when I was moving into Swanson and hugging my parents goodbye at the Fall Connection kick-off. Now, I’m writing papers, studying for exams, and gradually packing my belongings away to be moved back home. It’s Week 10 of spring term, and I don’t think I’ve experienced many other situations this bittersweet. I had never imagined my first year at Augie to be this big of a rollercoaster ride, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Looking back on the past nine months, I realize how many things Augie gave me during my first year.
It gave me opportunities. Throughout high school, I was extremely involved. Marching band, NHS, Student Council, musicals–you name it, I was helping lead it. When I came to Augie, I knew I wanted to make the most of my college experience by becoming involved, but did I believe deep down that a silly little freshman like me would be able to do just that? The amazing people and welcoming atmosphere gave me the motivation to step up and be who I truly wanted to be on campus. I can proudly say that I am now an Admissions Student Worker, Dance Marathon Entertainment Chair, a photographer for the Augustana Observer, a Live on Campus committee member, a big sister through Augie Bigs, a member of Concert Band, and last–but definitely not least–a member of the Chi Alpha Pi sorority.
It gave me a family. If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I would be joining a sorority, I would have laughed in your face. I could ramble on and on about how I never thought Greek life was for me and how I just wasn’t a “sorority girl,” but here I am–an extremely proud member of the CAPulets pledge class in the Chi Alpha Pi sorority. The pledging process taught me so much about myself and life in general, and to be completely honest with you, I would do it all again if I had to. Don’t get me wrong, I would still enjoy being an Augie student without being in a sorority, but joining CAP has enhanced my college experience immensely. I have more than friends at school, I have 120 beautiful sisters that will be there for me through rain and shine, thick and thin, good and bad–you get it.
It gave me memories. Whether it was running down the hallway having lightsaber fights with the best friends I’ve had since day one or eating Chinese food and painting nails with my sisters, I couldn’t even begin to list every memory I’ve made here at Augie that’s put a smile on my face. Like I basically said before, I’m so thankful to know that I get to spend the next three years with my wonderful sisters, but they aren’t the only ones I’m glad to spend my days at Augie with. Some of my best friends include people I met on my floor, in organizations I’m involved with, and even the Class of 2015 Facebook page the month before arriving on campus. Living life as a college student has also taught me some random valuable lessons as well.
It gave me little life lessons. Like I said, college has been one heck of a rollercoaster ride. I’m not going to sugarcoat what I write and say that everything has been perfect. Tears have been shed multiple times, and there have been times where I just wanted to sleep in my bed at home, but what I can say with complete honesty is that every single bump in the road has taught me some sort of lesson that I continue to remind myself of daily.
I’ve learned about priorities, and how complete procrastination gets me nowhere here. I’ve learned how much I value the little things I took advantage of at home, such as alone time and being around my parents–two people that I’ve honestly realized are two of the best friends I could ever really ask for. I’ve learned what type of people belong in my life and which ones don’t–and how I need to fully cherish the ones that do. I’ve learned how far optimism goes, and how it is possible to get through absolutely any situation when you have it.
Not a doubt in my mind exists when I say that I made the right choice by choosing Augie. It has been the perfect place to start this chapter of my life with all of the unforgettable memories and the people who are standing besides me during them all. I have a mere week left as a freshman, and I’m honestly pretty… content. I’m ready to spend my summer with my family, best friends from home, and, of course, visiting the incredible people I’ve met throughout the year. Plus, summer means one thing–three months until I begin my journey as an Augustana sophomore.
Posted on May 9th, 2012 by Ashley LaGrow
Filed under: Ashley LaGrow