Wow it’s almost time for winter break!
It’s almost time for spending time with my family and friends, relaxing, sleeping in, eating holiday desserts… As you can tell, I am very excited for the end of the semester. No more papers or exams, no more speeches or early morning classes.
But as this semester comes to a close, I’m sitting in my apartment and
procrastinating reflecting on these last 3 semesters at Northeastern. So much has changed. I’ve changed.
I remember when I first arrived in Boston; I was so excited to be in a new city. A fresh start, a blank slate, a new leaf — pick your metaphor. However, I couldn’t shake the feeling of anxiety that came with moving to a new city. I was far from home, 2 ½ hours by plane, 14 hours by car. I spoke with my family every week in our Reddy Family Conference Call™ but nothing replaces seeing your loved ones in person. It was also hard to leave my friends. Quite a few of my friends went to schools in Georgia or were still in high school, so I felt so out of the loop. Even though I texted them a lot, I missed them so much.
But it wasn’t that bad in that first semester. I met a lot of people during Welcome Week that I still talk with to this day. We would meet up in the dining hall to catch up, and even if we couldn’t see each other in person, we would still talk via Snapchat or Instagram. And my roommate was the best friend I could have asked for! She is from Seattle, so she understood how homesick I felt, and we both helped each other through that. We first bonded over homesickness and our dogs, then we had our own inside jokes and fond memories.
As I continued through these last 3 semesters, I’ve grown more comfortable here. I’ve made so many friends, found my academic passion, and really pushed myself out of my comfort zone.
I probably couldn’t have survived without the amazing friends I’ve made in the last year and a half. My roommates, both past and present, are so funny and kind. We have our own inside jokes and we can spend hours together, telling stories and making new ones. They make our apartment a place where I can relax and be myself. Once I can be myself, I can be truly comfortable. This means they get to see “Weird Malathi” but it’s okay because they love me. 🙂
I also found some really great groups of people. On my Dialogue of Civilizations to London this past summer, I made a group of friends, Freud’s Boys, whom I love dearly. We aren’t always able to spend time together because we’re all so busy, but every time we meet up, it’s like we pick up right where we left off. We come out to each other’s shows, celebrate birthdays, catch movies together, everything. Another group I found is my Persuasion and Rhetoric class this semester. I never expected to create such a bond with 20 people through a class. We were forced to work together on essays in the beginning, but at the end of the semester, we worked together because we genuinely cared about how each other did. We wanted to support each other and lift each other up. I have laughed and cried with these people and they mean the world to me.
The friendships I made this year and will make in my remaining two and a half years at Northeastern are the connections that will leave a lasting impact on me. And I will be forever grateful for them.
It’s hard to believe that I declared my major almost a year ago. For the longest time, I had no idea what I wanted to pursue. I like to say that I was as undecided as they come because truthfully, there were so many things I liked but nothing I felt passionate about. I looked into Northeastern because of the Explore Program. I hoped that if I had time and advising, I could find a major that really reflected my interests. And I did. Through events like the Meet the Majors Fair and meetings with my advisor, I was introduced to Communication Studies, a major that I didn’t even know existed until October of my first year. It was the perfect fit for me. I enrolled in Introduction to Communication Studies in my second semester and loved it so much that I declared my major one month into the semester.
So where am I now?
I am really diving into my coursework. I took Public Speaking and Persuasion and Rhetoric this semester. It’s exciting for me to work my way through my major and I can’t wait to take even more advanced classes in the upcoming semesters. And I decided that I wanted to supplement my major by adding a Psychology minor. I am currently considering a Sociology minor after taking the introductory class this semester.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I applied to the Honors Program last semester and matriculated this semester! I enrolled in an Honors Seminar course this semester called Slam Poetry and Social Justice, which sounded a little off-beat to me at first. It quickly became one of my favorite classes. In spite of having millions of essays for my Communications classes, Slam Poetry really allowed me to write for pleasure in a style that I don’t use very often. I got to explore important issues with a class of people who are just as passionate as me.
The classes I am taking and will take are subjects I am truly passionate about. This is what I also imagined college would be — no longer taking classes that didn’t interest me. Now I choose classes that mean something to me and I love it.
Moving beyond my comfort zone
It’s been a crazy year. I’ve seen myself grow, and now, I am capable of things I never thought possible.
I can confidently argue and defend my opinion in class discussions. I can be vulnerable and present creative work that is deeply personal and that I am deeply proud of. I can deliver an effective speech comfortably in front of my class. I can be a leader for my club and have input on impactful decisions. I can cook (kinda) and feed myself, which I am sure will please my mom. I am more comfortable traveling and living in a foreign city. I am excited for the challenges that will arise in my co-op next semester.
I laugh louder and smile wider. I dance with my friends and scream/sing to old 2000s songs. I cheer on my friends at their concerts. I travel on the T by myself. I go shopping for groceries. I don’t need to bundle myself in 6 layers for 50 degree weather. I walk around campus with a skip in my step.
I am more compassionate and empathetic.
I am smarter.
I am braver.
I am happier.
It’s been a good year and a half and I can’t wait for the next two and a half. 🙂